Thursday night (I realize it’s now officially Friday), I was blessed to attend a New Life Fine Arts musical production of Ruth. Ruth is one of my absolute favorite parts of the Bible (I named a daughter after Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law),* and one of the most deeply moving and touching illustrations of God’s plan of redemption offered to all people.
This musical adaptation (click here for a brief audio sample) provides a detailed, convincing, and highly engrossing presentation. Although there are a few necessary artistic liberties taken in expanding the Biblical story, only one detail seems slightly overdone, and the rest of of it never departs from the plausable.
The story opens with a monologue by the prophet Samuel. The first major scene is in the city of Bethlehem, during the height of a severe famine. The people’s reaction to what they were going through was immediately engrossing, and convinced me this would be more than just a superficial retelling. The characters were self-consistent and varied, the story dealt with the racial tension between Israel and Moab, and the varied attitudes toward strangers in the two lands. I was teary-eyed at least half a dozen times over the course of the evening.
The sets were ingeniously designed, the staging was well choreographed, and to call the music beautiful would be an understatement. See this musical if you have a chance. You will be moved and blessed.
The production has four more shows at the Chevalier Theater in Medford, Ma: one Friday night at 7:30, two on Saturday, and an afternoon show on Sunday.
*I realize that Ruth is, perhaps, the greater of the two main female characters in the story of Ruth, but I have always found the way the name Naomi sounds to be endearing. See the discussion around my daughter Naomi’s name (and middle name) on this post and its comments.