My wife and I went to see the Christmas musical, “Glorious Christmas Nights: A Timeless Hope” which was performed at West End Assembly of God in Richmond, VA under the direction of Reverend Bob Laughlin. This year, the play centered around a man by the name of Samuel, who experienced life’s trials which ultimately left him by himself at the end. He lost his wife and lost his job when the Miller & Rhodes finally closed their doors. But it was through the hope that his grandmother taught him when he was a small child, that all you can ever depend on in life is your hope and faith in Jesus Christ.
The themed Scripture was taken from Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
Perspective: This story was told from the perspective of 1993 Richmond, remembering the past and looking, with hope, towards the future, through the eyes of four generations of middle-class Richmond women. Each woman remembered Richmond as a child or as a teenager. Two generations of men and many others tell their stories as well.
Synopsis: Four generations of women who were continuing a family tradition, have attended the closing performance of the Christmas 1993 run of the Nutcracker at the Carpenter Center. As the street clears of patrons, our ladies remain, waiting for the father/son to bring the car around. The younger girl comments on the suddenly evident deterioration of once vibrant Downtown Richmond. Then the journey begins of the ladies remembering back through the decades of happier times for the city, a journey of a cast of characters from the past to the present, each struggling to find hope beyond their circumstances.
The 2nd Act began without an intermission and started with Scene 7. This scene began with the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, tending their flock at night. The Angel of the Lord came and announced that Jesus was going to be born. As the scene changed to the night of Christ’s birth, a live camel was brought onto the stage along with the kings, bringing Him gifts. This was a moving scene, with angels being suspended in the air by wires.
The last scene was the Second Coming with the Reverend Bob Laughlin singing the Midnight Cry. Then came in other men vocalists such as Allen Brown, Tony Robinson, and James Opher. What a stellar performance these men gave as well as the rest of the cast. Jesus appeared above and a multitude of Angels were suspended as well. It was a sight to see!
This was a night to remember for years to come. It is a reminder that whatever our circumstance, God will never leave us nor forsake us (cf. Deuteronomy 31:6). The cast had us laughing one minute, and towards the end of the play, Samuel (James Opher), in his own hopelessness, tears came to my eyes with me knowing that there are people in our society today, have no hope because no one had ever loved them enough to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Samuel finally found hope in Christ, which led into the Midnight Cry.
As of the writing of this review, the musical play performed their last show December 15th, 2019. The gospel message is always presented in the Glorious Christmas Nights series. I look forward to going again next year to see what West End Assembly of God will be presenting. I have been to many church performances but West End Assembly of God is about the best I have experienced in musical theater.
We give this show the highest review ever and award it 5 Stars out of 5.
Photo Credit: Rev. Joseph Lee, Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., Photo was taken by permission of Rev. Bob Laughlin, West End Assembly of God.
West End Assembly of God Website: https://gcn.weag.org/cast-crew/
Copyright ©December 22, 2019, Marketplace Evangelism Today, a publication of Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., All Rights Reserved.