Jesus Folk NOW!
Commissioning weekend’s Saturday events concluded with a blast of confetti and a long, standing ovation for CFOT’s energetic, updated version of Gowans and Larsson’s musical, “Jesus Folk,” renamed “Jesus Folk Now.”
Directed by Keith Turton, dramatic arts specialist for the UK Territory, and conducted by Janette Bosanko, the “Jesus Folk” included CFOT cadets, staff and children. Decked out in bright costumes, they were part of a traveling Christian roadshow. Their mission? To turn everyone into Jesus folk. When the cast members encounter dark-clothed townspeople who are overwhelmed with problems, they bring to life well-known characters from the Bible who sing of Jesus’ healing power.
This version of the musical included an update of one of the numbers, arranged by the composer’s son Kevin Larsson, and performed by Torrance Corps’ gospel choir “Psalm 151.” Also, the Harbor Light Gospel Choir did their own soulful rendition of the title song “Jesus Folk.” Even the audience was brought into the act, joining in on the choruses of several of the songs.
The evening lived up to the opening promise made by the Jesus Folk leader, Chris, played by Cadet Christopher Yeager: “Be astounded by the impossible, laugh at the ridiculous, cry at the tragic, and smile at the enchanting.” The message of the musical was clear and the audience, judging from its ovation, clearly responded to it. “You see…what power the name Jesus has,” Chris says at the end. “All you have to do is call on his name.”
–Report and photos by John Docter