published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

ReCreate Cafe hosts original Christmas story musical

IF YOU GO

• What: "Behold the Lamb of God."

• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 14-15; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16; 7:30 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 17-18.

• Where: ReCreate Cafe, Salvation Army's 614 Corps, 800 McCallie Ave.

• Admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors/students, free for children 5-under.

• Phone: 756-1023.

• Website: www.csarmy.org.

Hit the rewind button on the Christmas story.

Go way past the manger, the wise men, the star, the young parents-to-be ... way, way back past the prophecies and Abraham and Sarah and even Adam and Eve. Wind all the way back to Creation.

That's where "Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ" begins.

The production, a Christmas story told with story-theater techniques, music, poetry, dance and other visual elements, will be offered Friday through Tuesday at ReCreate Cafe, The Salvation Army's 614 Corps.

"We're trying to get people to hear the story," said director Tenika Day, "because we're so familiar with the songs, the images, everything we think Christmas is about."

The tale, told by 12 actors/singers representing the 12 tribes of Israel, connects the hundreds of years of prophecies of the coming of Christ, the passages in the Bible that point to his coming and even the first Passover.

The production includes the music that Nashville recording artist Andrew Peterson toured with in concert for 10 years and serves his original goal, Dye said.

"It was Peterson's intention to give people music that didn't sound like traditional Christmas music," she said. "[The overall production] is true to his intention. It's nice to hear (from audiences), 'We've never heard anything like this before.'"

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," for instance, is represented by a dance to instrumental music at the end of the first act and in spoken word early in the second act, Dye said.

And, belying the carol "Silent Night," the night of Christ's birth is represented by "Labor of Love," likely truer to the dark, cold night that heard the cries of a woman in labor, she said. "Every time I hear it, it gives me chills."

Dye, who wrote the story/theater dialogue to back Peterson's music, said she is fortunate to have several actors who have worked together since childhood and a majority of actors who have presented the play four years in a row.

"The harmonies are really tight because they've been singing well together for years," she said.

The cast has two new cast members this year, an improved set, new staging, more intentional costuming and theatrical lighting, Dye said.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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