When I got the opportunity to get tickets to review the show, “Joseph” at Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster, PA, I was so excited! It’s not just that this theatre puts on an amazing show filled with talented performers, lights, animals and special effects, it’s also that I got dig in deep into this story with my Bible study earlier this year. To see it brought to life was amazing!
The story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and his dreams is one of the last stories of the first book in the Bible. I recommend reading the full story (Genesis 37, 39-45, 47), but it is basically about the 2nd youngest – and favorite – son of Jacob, who had sons by 4 women. (Mistake #1, I’d say!) God grants Joseph some prophetic dreams at the age of 17, in which he is risen above them. Already ticked off by their father’s indulgence of the son who should not inherit, the brothers scheme to have him killed but end up selling him into slavery. He makes good as a slave, pleasing his owner, Potiphar and rising through the ranks, until Mrs. Potiphar puts the moves on him and he ends up in jail. Years later, another pharaoh finds out he can interpret dreams and brings him forward. Joseph tells him that God interprets the dream and then goes on to tell the future – in a way that will save all of Egypt from a terrible famine. The pharaoh is impressed and promotes him. Later, the brothers return and after a drawn out interaction, Joseph finally forgives them and is reunited with his family.
Ok so that’s very short, but the BIG takeaway is that while Joseph needed to be brought low to eradicate that pride so that God could use him, Joseph’s unwavering faith in God shines through the whole story. Joseph goes from being irritatingly jubilant about his awesome gift from God as a teen, to telling the king of the land that he could not interpret dreams – only God alone has the power to tell their meaning.
I loved Sight and Sound’s “Joseph” production because the audience was filled with Christians of many different denominations. When Pharaoh at the end responds to Joseph’s advice to find a wise manager by saying, “there is no one so discerning and wise as you,” I kid you NOT, the audience exploded in applause. I did too! After all Joseph had gone through so many struggles and dark times. He went from being a slave to being the top man in all the land other than Pharaoh himself, bringing his family to the best part of Egypt so they didn’t have to suffer the famine, and being a mighty hero in the eyes of the Egyptian people.
The lesson of Joseph is that when we are faithful to God, no matter the circumstances, He is faithful to us. Sight & Sound also does a wonderful job of tying all this back to the New Testament. (In my Bible study, we realized that this, like so many Old Testament stories, is a foreshadowing of Jesus.) Little pieces, like the foot washing as the table is set for 12, brought a little shudder when you realize Who this story is really talking about.
If you are going to take your family to one of these Sight and Sound Bible productions, here are a few things you should know beforehand:
- These stories are based on the Bible, but are embellished so that you can be entertained for 2.5 hours. There is no party at Potiphar’s in the Bible, for example, but what a fun way to engage the kids by imagining what a grand Egyptian event would look like!
- There is intermission, about an hour and a half after the show starts.
- Animals walk up and down the aisle! Kids love this part the best – and, I do too!
- There is a Family Room if your kids get unruly or need a break. We had to do this with Zoe, she was a bit off kilter on Saturday. It even has a small, curtained room with a comfy chair for breastfeeding. No worries – the show is filmed and piped into the Family Room while your kids play with toys or perform on the “stage.”
- There is food allowed in and sold both outside and inside the theater auditorium. That means, if your child has life-threatening allergies, you may want to pass this up. I only realized this after seeing a mom open up a whole quart jar of peanuts 2 rows in front of me.
- That said, if your child is safe but has non-threatening allergies or sensitivities, you can purchase fruit there and juices, as well as Kettle chips. So there are some options!
- After the show, there are attendants who take prayer requests, answer questions about the Bible and can aid you if you find God while you are there. I wonder how many people having gotten saved in Sight & Sound?
- And regarding food, the only gluten free place we’ve found close by is the Fireside Tavern, which is gorgeous and the food is very good. (They hand kids Goldfish crackers when you walk in so you’ll need to manage that.)
- If you’re looking to make a day of it (and I recommend you do), you are right near Amish country and the amazing landmark Bube’s Brewery in nearby Mount Joy for lunch or dinner too.
Finally, Christmas is coming. So not only do I recommend you get tickets for “Joseph,” you might want to take your kids to one of their Christmas shows. We haven’t been but are considering it for this year.
Sight & Sound’s “Joseph” is a beautiful, moving live action telling of the Bible story that will uplift and inspire you even before the actor flies through the air over your heads at the very end.