The Rock and the Rabbi

The Rock and the Rabbi
A Fresh accounting of the Gospel Message. Always a good idea! With a savvy
earthy music sensibility.
The Rock and the Rabbi came to Christ Church on Old Hickory Blvd. The show
had already played a multi-week engagement at the Rhyman this year; somehow I
missed it. Evidently they’ve been asked back there for next year.
People, this
is a golden ministry opportunity. Do you know people who don’t know the Lord?
Do you know the Lord? This is a beautiful and substantial, yet surprising and
powerful portrayal of Simon-Peter: one of Jesus disciples life-experience during
the living years of Jesus.
Peter’s matter-of-fact chattiness, sometimes humorously conveyed, are all
the centerpieces to the effectiveness of this performance.
The stage at the
beginning presents an almost “Riverdance” breadth with a gigantic percussion
section as the backdrop. A veritable wall of four large drumming nests, the
natural color and diversity of the endless battery of noise-makers gave a
brilliantly colorful sound kaleidoscope to launch the story of Jesus.
The
choice and arrangement style of the music compared to the Paul Winter Consort
or in Christian music something like Rich Mullins acoustic stuff. Additional
instruments included electric violin, accordion, bass guitar and two acoustic
guitars and two very strong singers. A very organic palette.
I suspect the lighting is more involved in the theatre settings, but frankly
the way the music supported the story in detail made the visual
understatement come alive in one’s mind.

A cross between Christopher Walken And Bill Clinton, the grand story-teller
was magnetic. Probably not intended, however these two brilliant actors
embody some of the most-committed acting in the latter 20th century both in
and out of reality! The Physical resemblances are what bring this up. So as
my mind drifted back and forth, it stuck me that this portrayal of Peter as a
lilly-white well-dressed millennium man was indeed a rich irony not without
its own power in subtlety in the year 2000. God still uses the foolishness of
man to confound the wise.

Last but not least all 12 performers (matching the number of disciples) sang Good songs with powerful and passionate singing which carried the intensity of the
message. Peter’s soliloquy’s giving way to supportive songs completely
transported us to the intimate moments of triumph and tribulation. One song
in particular about the fishermen’s lives used Volga boatman/beatnik style.
A slow march toward to end brought real apprehension and anxiousness to the
spirit of the culmination.

This was an eclectic show. Being a percussionist-drummer, I particularly thought
it was an idea whose time has come.
The power of clanking and thunder of real instruments bought a majestic
poignancy to the bone-chilling reality of an all-powerful God coming into the
body of human being to be sacrificed in a pretty uncivilized world to take
humanity into eternity.

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