(Film artwork courtesy of Sight and Sound Theatre)
Theatre Review – “Jesus” Brought to Life by Sight and Sound Theater
By Amber Johnson
* WARNING THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
“Jesus” is the story of our Rescuer brought to life by the Sight and Sound theater of Branson, Missouri. Now running live through October 2022, the theater has a 2,000-seat capacity that draws over one million visitors each year between its two locations. With the theater’s panoramic stage, large sets, special effects, live animals, and attention to detail, the Sight and Sound theater is a must-stop for a jaw-dropping experience that brings Bible stories to life. “Jesus” is in its second season at the Branson, Missouri location and continues to attract young and old to experience the miracles and love of Jesus up close.
As Jesus takes his disciples out onto the Sea of Galilea, the largest LED screen in the world is used to create a fully-immersive experience. It truly makes the audience feel like they are right with Jesus out on the water. Real, large boats slide with ease across the stage. Clouds billow across what looks like real water, thanks to an LED screen and special effects. The panoramic views of the stage show people bustling about a lively town which adds to the depth and detail of the story.
Our family had the privilege of seeing the show live in March, and my six-year-old son thought the Temple was the most amazing set piece. With its grandiosity, it was astounding to see the way the production team created it to move so easily and yet look so substantial. My four-year-old daughter sat with her mouth wide open in awe throughout much of the experience. Seeing Jesus’ miracles and His love for the unlovable brought Him to life in a new way for our family.
“Jesus” does an excellent job of being family-friendly in that it showed Jesus’ persecution and death, but it didn’t become overly graphic for younger children. The burial and resurrection scenes were incredible, and the story finishes with the Holy Spirit coming upon God’s people and His Word spreading around the world. The story was presented beautifully with such humility by the entire production team. It came across loud and clear that the Message was the most important thing to everyone at this theater- it was all about Jesus. Beyond the show itself, the theater team created an at-ease experience from concession lines, to the gift shop, finding our seats, and even helping lines move along in the restrooms during intermission. Prices were very reasonable within the theater. It was truly a five-star service experience.
If you’re unable to see the show in-person, Sight and Sound theaters offer a “First Fridays” experience where you can stream the filmed production in front of a live audience at home. Now you can watch “Jesus” from home with a season pass or pay-per-view rental for $9.99. Be on the lookout for “Samson” and “Queen Esther” productions which will also be available to watch on First Fridays in May and June. Lancaster, Pennsylvania offers a Sight and Sound theater experience that is now showing “David” through December 2022. You won’t want to miss these real stories brought to life!
Be sure to check out the trailer for “Jesus” here!