EDMOND—Four-hundred twenty-eight concert-goers watched the premiere of The Widow’s Might on December 29 at Armstrong Auditorium. The musical, produced by the Philadelphia Church of God and Herbert W. Armstrong College, was also viewed by members around the world watched via a live-stream at live.pcog.org.
Since the project began in February, more than 100 cast and crew have spent thousands of man hours on props, sets, lighting, costumes, choreography, diction, blocking, staging and recording.
The musical follows the biblical book of Ruth and the journey of Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth, both impoverished widows, as their story of suffering transforms to one of love, loyalty, rescue and redemption.
“I’m always so moved by the opening song—the real experiences of so many widows whom I know—some of whom are younger than me which, at my age, is hard to imagine,” music director Ryan Malone said. “And I also get emotional at the end, when the Bible says the people honor Naomi for Ruth’s and Boaz’s son, and—in the musical—she sings this touching lullaby … that helps show how God rescued her in the end from such excruciating experiences.”
The lead roles of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz are played by Herbert W. Armstrong College instructor Paula Malone, sophomore Jessica Brandon and instructor Mark Jenkins, respectively.
Brandon said she was utterly shocked when she found out she would be playing a leading role.
“It was all kind of surreal but also incredibly awesome at the same time,” she said. “I never expected this kind of opportunity.”
More than 100 members of the cast and crew spent 15 hours this week alone preparing for the show but still managed to make time for fun in rehearsal.
“For the entire tech rehearsal, my dad [Armstrong Auditorium stage manager Roger Brandon] kept coming on the stage and pretend-fighting everyone who hassled me,” Brandon said.
“The biblical account itself is peppered with humorous elements,” Mr. Malone said.
The musical returns to the stage of Armstrong Auditorium on December 31 (7:30 p.m., cst) and on January 1 (2:00 p.m., cst). The show will also stream live at live.pcog.org. During the performance, check Twitter.com/PCG_News and share your reactions with a tweet to @PCG_News.