Musical Theatre and Church

imageWhen I was in 6th or 7th grade, on Easter Sunday after getting all dressed up with my family, as was the custom, we headed to Mt. Hope Lutheran Church.  Now going to church all dressed up was nothing new for my family because we pretty much went every week whether I wanted too or not.  What was different about this one particular Sunday was instead of the usual “stations of the cross” service that showcased these really cool wooden reliefs we had around the chapel was that the room had been invaded by large speakers.   The congregation all took our seats, I am in the back, and our somewhat hip pastor came up to the front, ordered us all to remove our jackets, undo our ties and make ourselves comfortable.  This wasn’t going to be the ordinary Easter Sunday service!  He pulled out a dark brown record album which had a gold logo on the front.  I couldn’t see detail from where I was sitting but he had this glint in his eye as he layed the first of the two discs onto a turntable.  The lights dimmed slightly as if in a theatre and for the next two hours the room was flooded with the score  to Jesus Christ Superstar.  My head was kind of exploding as here I  was at the intersection of church (which I had mixed feelings about at that young age), rock music (were my parents really enjoying this?) and the magic of musical theatre.  My sister and I had already been disecting cast recordings for years and not having a clue really what the connective tissue was between songs our ears and imagination was primed to really go on this articulate journey.  What the grown ups really thought about this unorthodox way to show the glory of the day I will never really know but this Easter will always be one of my favorite memories.  Go dig out your JCS album or digital tracks.  Sit down, enjoy, and find out what the buzz was really all about.


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