Sight & Sound’s production of JESUS makes its Branson premier March 13, 2021. This original action-packed musical stage production uses live animals, massive sets, and spectacular special effects to bring “the greatest rescue story of all time” to life on its massive 300-foot surround stage.
Although this will be the first performance of JESUS in Branson, it has been performed at the Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., and on the TBN Television network. Reviewers who have seen it marvel at the spectacular scope of the production. It tells the inspirational story of Jesus based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John presented as only Sight and Sound can do.
As is the case with all Sight & Sound productions, the show is inspirational and filled with cutting-edge technology, massive sets, lavish costuming, and beautiful music. There are many special effects and innovations in this show. Two that most comment on are the 113 foot wide, nearly 30 foot tall LED screen backdrop and the astonishing walking on water scenes.
A reviewer in The Catholic World Report said,
It’s conflated with the stilling of the storm, so violent waves toss the boat about as Jesus approaches on the water.
The extraordinary effect relies on a range of techniques and technologies, including a rainscreen, an immense LED screen backdrop with a stormy sea, crashing waves projected in the foreground, and computer-controlled mechanical rigging that raises the boat up to eight feet off the stage and pitches it with the waves.
Following Matthew’s Gospel, Peter walks to Jesus in this sequence, sinks beneath the waves when he starts to doubt, and is dramatically raised up by Jesus and brought into the boat. That image — Jesus raising up Peter — is perhaps the master visual of the production, and the one used in the show’s branding.
“JESUS” features cutting-edge technology and a bigger-than-ever set but also an emotion-laden story that will captivate audiences. It’s spectacular.
With special effects, monstrous sets, live animals and a panoramic stage the width of a football field, a Sight & Sound production was unlike anything I had ever seen. It’s so massive that it takes more than three years — from concept to opening night — to put one together. It’s also so elaborate that there are only two of them: one in Lancaster, Pa., and the other in Branson, Mo.
Throughout the show, we’re treated to sights and sounds we’ve never seen in a, well, Sight & Sound show. “JESUS” is the first production to feature the new 12-ton LED screen that’s 113 feet wide and nearly 30 feet tall. It serves as a colorful backdrop to nearly every scene but – as it should – never distracts from the story. I forgot it was there. The production also includes the largest moving set piece in Sight & Sound history – a recreated Galilean Hillside that’s 100 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Oh yeah, we get to see Jesus and Peter walking on water, too.
And if you go, you’ll understand what the fuss is all about. No reviews on Sight and Sound’s JESUS can do the production justice. One thing’s for sure: you will leave the theatre not only entertained, but transformed by Christ’s powerful message of love and compassion.
Sight & Sound’s JESUS will perform at Branson’s Sight & Sound Theatre from March 13 through December 31, 2021. For additional information or tickets, please contact the Sight & Sound Theatre by calling (800) 377-1277.