The Christmas cantata at my church is on Sunday. JB and I have parts. Well, JB has the lead part--he plays a modern-day prodigal son. I play his creepy stalker ex-neighbor who he hasn't seen in 10 years yet still asks him incredibly personal questions ("have you found your princess charming yet?") and tells him she's been praying for him.
My part rocks.
The musical is mostly choir songs (backed up by our church orchestra) with little vignettes in between where JB meets various Christians as he makes his way home to see his family, who have found Jesus since he left (since JB left; not since Jesus left). Oh, and his character's mom died a long time ago. He's bitter about that. Until his big solo toward the end, that is.
The funniest thing about this musical is that all the Christian characters are kind of, well, creepy. (Mine is the creepiest--I win!)
I've been going to church my whole life, so I can say all of this with love in my heart for my fellow Jesus followers: some of these characters remind me of creepy Christians I've known. You know, the ones who are so out of touch with normal human interaction that they make you majorly uncomfortable?
JB and I blocked our scene with the show's director on Monday night, and we could barely get through it without cracking up. My best line: "What a great Christmas gift from God!" Which I get to say after I tell him I'm glad to see him after 10 YEARS (he doesn't recognize me at first--and who can blame him, I'd want to forget me, too) and that I've been praying for him. My second best line: "Stay open, Phillip. Stay open to the Father."
Who talks like this?? Creepy people, that's who. There's a way to talk to people (Christians and non-Christians) about your faith and this is Not It.
Our director has a great sense of humor and I get to play my character like the well-meaning weirdo she is. Plus a friend of ours plays a man named Carter, who JB's character meets on the side of the road after his (JB's) car breaks down. We think it would be priceless if Carter carried an axe throughout the scene. He wouldn't use it of course, or even draw attention to it; just hold it while they talk. Because if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere at night, who is going to be the first person you encounter? Duh, a guy with an axe. Slasher movie or Christmas cantata, this is pretty much an unbreakable rule.
All of this is not to say we're mocking God--not at all. But Christians have a sense of humor too (I know! Surprise!!) and some things are just too ridiculous not to make fun of.
You may be wondering, why on earth are they performing this show? It sounds crazy!! The answer: it's not as bad as I make it sound; I've just picked out the best parts for your enjoyment.
All derision aside, I'm looking forward to it. The dialogue is cheesy but ultimately well-meaning. And really, it's Christmastime, so a little cheesetastic music and drama is perfectly acceptable.