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Jonah Takes Branson by Storm

Have you seen Jonah at Sight and Sound Theatre Branson?  This show has taken the town by storm, wowing both locals and visitors alike.  Combining the traditional biblical story of Jonah and the whale with modern production values, the show has created one of the grandest spectacles you can see in Branson.

The story of Jonah particularly appeals to families as even children are familiar with biblical tale.  The prophet Jonah was asked by God to help the city of Nineveh to repent their sins.  When Jonah refused and ran from this task, booking passage on a ship in the opposite direction of the wicked city, God responded with a violent storm.  Jonah eventually gets tossed into the sea, seemingly in peril.  However, instead of drowning Jonah is swallowed by a great fish – the whale – which God provided.   In the belly of the whale Jonah repents and cries out to the lord in prayer, begging forgiveness.  During this time, one of the bible’s most encouraging passages is delivered: “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9, NIV). 

Watching this emotional message come to life on the Sight and Sound Theatre stage is truly remarkable.  The show, which is a musical, features spectacular special effects, a large cast of 41 actors, giant sets, soaring vocals, and, of course, a huge whale.  There are some four-legged cast members as well, adding to the reality of the performance. Watch as alpacas, camels, birds, donkeys, cattle horses, sheep dogs, and even a zonkey (a cross between a zebra and a donkey) parade across the stage. 

I can’t say enough about the sets either, of which there are 71 pieces.  The largest of which is the boat which weighs over 33,000 pounds.  It floats all over the stage and is a truly stunning sight to see.  The boat scene makes you feel as if you are adrift at sea with Jonah, and if you’re close to the stage you might even get seasick the performance is that real!  Other sets bring the cities from the biblical story to life, with the port of Joppa expertly recreated.  There is also a part of the show where the audience is made to feel as if you are immersed underwater.  Yes, you read that correctly!  I won’t give too much away as this part of the show you have to see to believe!

The message of the show is one of forgiveness.  Musical selections, all of which are original songs, drive this theme home.  The audience seemed especially moved by “I Am Free,” which speaks of redemption. 

If you haven’t seen Jonah yet, you definitely should!  If you’ve seen it when it premiered, it may be time for second showing.  It’s just that good!  Jonah will be performed a Sight and Sound Theatre through 2015.

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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
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