Saturday, November 22, 2008

Horror in the Heartland

Because I am an Iowan (one is never a former Iowan, regardless of their best efforts) I swell with pride every time Iowa is in the news. Even when someone does something silly, and especially when something good or interesting is going on.

Thankfully, this time I'm reporting on the latter. And maybe just a wee bit of the former, which makes it that much more enjoyable.

Somewhere in Iowa a small Christian college is staging a goth-rock musical based on horror stories from the Bible.

Conceived and directed by theater professor Jeff Barker at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, the six stories of Terror Texts: The Musical include cannibalism, rape and a bear that mauls children. All were taken verbatim from the Old Testament and are performed by a sweet-faced and talented cast among what look to be the kind of hardcore theatrics that would be at home in a Gran Guignol spectacular of Jesus Christ Superstar.

I love that a Christian college in Iowa decided not to put on the same old sleepy church play. In doing so, they risked being misunderstood by the more conservative factions of just about everybody, not to mention mounting a show that might fail to live up to its promise. Fortunately, it appears neither is the case.

The show maintains a MySpace page with five songs on it. They all sound pretty good to me, based on the precious little I know about what today's youth considers cool when it comes to Christian rock showtunes. There's also a video, with clips from the show and interviews with the director and some of the cast. Seeing it makes me sorry the show is closing November 22. It also reminds me that Iowa theater students can be some of the most annoying and adorable creatures on God's green earth, even though I was once one myself. Terror Texts only has 50 friends as of this writing, but deserves more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why does this make me think of "Waiting for Guffman"?