When the Prophets Dance will be the first production this fall for The Millennium Music Center, a family-owned professional theater company which recently relocated here from Boston. The timely Broadway-style musical features two famous couples from the past coming into the present with two starkly contrasting opinions on life.
In good humor, the conservative versus liberal sparks fly. Enhanced by energetic music and beautiful ballads, this musical is one of the more compelling ideological battles to be waged on stage. Through clever satire, the production challenges the two differing viewpoints and often does so with laughter. The couples are Avi (Abraham) and Sarah and Jezebel and Ahab from the Bible.
Industry veterans Mona and Paul Johnian co-founded The Millennium Music Center (MMC) in 1998 and are a husband and wife artistic team. Mona Johnian, the visionary behind the MMC, has written more than 30 books, is a playwright, a composer of copious amounts of music from various genres including show tunes, country, gospel, ballads, Latin, Asian, traditional and contemporary Christian. Since 1998, she has written 11 musical dramas, one of which was produced Off-Broadway in New York.
Paul Johnian, the musical director of the MMC, is a classical violinist with studies and degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, The Pablo Casals Conservatory of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Boston Conservatory of Music. He formerly served as the Professor of Strings and Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at Auburn University in Alabama. He and Mona Johnian have traveled on five continents since 1976.
Joshua-Paul Johnian, Mona and Paul’s son, is the director and principal actor of the MMC. He is part of the directorial staff of When the Prophets Dance and served as lead director on When the Sun Always Shines and Beauty for Ashes. He was formally trained at the The Actors Workshop, where he performed in roles such as MacBeth, “George” in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf and more.
Yolanda Lilly is the director of dance and choreography at the MMC and a principal dancer. Her training includes classical ballet and other dance styles for the stage with Fern Gladstone, a former principle ballerina with the Metropolitan Opera in New American Ballet, and the Jerome Robbins Company.
Melissa Austin, SAG eligible, of Brentwood is featured in the performance as Jezebel and has performed at the Imperial Theatre in New York as Cosette in Les Miserables. Other credits include the Amy Grant Christmas Tour as a background vocalist, a principle in the CBS movie Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story and many appearances in Tennessee Repertory Theatre productions.
Kim Kinsley-Herrera is featured in the production and she hails from Hollis, New Hampshire. The singer/actress is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York as well as a graduate of Belmont University’s Music Business program. Her credits include Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Dan Wharton of Fairview is featured in the production and his credits include Smokey Joe’s Café at TPAC/Circle Players, Miss Marples Dinner Theatre, The Fantastiks and You Can’t Take It With You at the Bentonville Community Theatre.
The MMC is a non-profit organization whose hallmark is entertainment excellence with traditional values. Its goal is to challenge today’s philosophies and morality in the marketplace through professional stage productions. The family-owned corporation is dedicated to encouraging positive values through a non-sectarian biblical world view that will affect and strengthen the society where they live.
Performances of When the Prophets Dance will be held at The W Building, a state-of-the art theater in Cool Springs, located at 274 Mallory Lane on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. An additional performance will be held at the fifteen hundred seat auditorium of Living Word Community Church in Brentwood located at 409 Franklin Road on Friday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-866-811-4111, a toll-free reservation line or at the door the evening of the performance. Tickets are $15 advance or $18 at the door. Children ages five to 12 years old are admitted for $10 advance or $12 at the door. Children under five years old are not admitted to the performances.
For more information on group rates, call 1-800-829-2631 or visit the web site at www.themmc.org.
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