Saturday, 19 October 2019

FEATURE PRESENTATION: Why Father HoLung & Friends’ Isaiah is one of the year’s best shows

PASSION PLAY: Rousing music and high drama are at the centre of the Old Testament-based story.

THE musical productions put on by Father HoLung & Friends are always great to look at – full of lush, dazzling colour, vibrant energy and musical splendour – while teaching folks powerful lessons inspired by Biblical narratives. This season’s remount of Isaiah, directed by Greg Thames, is no exception. Here’s what made the show such a triumph:

THE SCORE: Musical director Wynton Williams truly outdid himself, crafting some memorable numbers that frequently showcased a rich harmonious blend of voices. Among the highlights: the robust show-opener “Shut the Doors” and the enchanting duet “You Are My Destiny.”

STEPHEN-RHAE JOHNSON: Cast in the title role, the increasingly impressive leading man turned in powerful work as the doomed prophet, family man and peacemaker whose message of love-over-conflict won him loyal supporters but also deadly enemies.

THE OVERALL PACKAGE: To create a night-at-the-opera feel, the production team always aims for grandeur with a minimalist streak, yielding beautiful results that arrest the viewer. From the lighting and special effects (handled superbly by Robin Baston to the stylish, period-appropriate costumes to the large and committed ensemble cast, Isaiah consistently offered a visual and musical feast.

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