The Miracle is the well-known story of Jesus Christ put into the form of a musical with awesome performance effects. I am not a Christian and think organized religion is, to quote the great actor Jesse “the Body” Ventura (of Wrestlemania fame), “a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers, and want to stick their noses in other people’s business.” Nevertheless, I found the show to be very entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see some of the more gratifying effects of mass hysteria.
Despite the fact that everyone in the audience knows exactly how the story goes, the production was able to enact several elements of surprise. The shock of seeing live camels walk down the aisle beside me was surpassed only by the terrifying moment that Satan enters stage-look-out-below, flying in directly over the heads of the audience.
It was a spectacle. I do not attend many theatrical performances, but as far as lighting and sound go, this was the best one I have ever seen. The ceiling above the audience had stars that twinkled and changed color when necessary. The back of the scene had a huge screen that could project anything to the audience. Rain was simulated with a unique “light curtain,” that defies my physical understanding of the world around me. There was thunder and lightning at times.
The actors were phenomenal talents. Jesus looked like and sounded like Jesus–perhaps it was the beard and hair, or maybe the fact that he always wore pure white tunics. Satan looked and sounded evil–he dressed in black, and even had blonde hair, which seems accurate. One character that did not work for me was Peter. Peter was played by a very large black man. I am a staunch individualist and therefore I do not consider myself racist, but I had trouble accepting a big black Peter-perhaps I have been passively indoctrinated by the countless fair-skinned Peters I have seen over the years. I do think the man who played Peter did a good job and was a good actor, but I would have cast Peter more traditionally.
Throughout the fine spectacle, the most overwhelming sense I got was mood. I was happy, sad, edgy, content, and even scared at times. I think the sound and lighting contributed a lot to my focus on mood and emotion. I disagreed with the show’s portrayal of Jesus; it’s a commercialized Jesus. I am a student of the Bible and history, and I think Jesus was a much more everyman’s man (less heroic) than the show made him. However, I understand the intent of the show was not historical accuracy, but a sort of marketable presentation of Jesus. Overall, The Miracle was a show worth seeing, if only for its entertainment value.