“The Cross and the Switchblade” is a moving story of hope and redemption

Parable Productions’ “The Cross and the Switchblade” is a story told in two parts. The first part is the story of Nicky Cruz, a Puerto Rican who grew up in an abusive and unloving home, surrounded by superstition and dark beliefs, who eventually became the leader of a notorious New York gang, the Mau Maus. Juxtaposing this is the story of Rev. David Wilkerson, a small-town Pennsylvania preacher who feels a calling to help the gangs and bring them to the love of Christ. Both of these stories are taken from the biographies of these two men, Cruz’s ”Run Baby Run” and Wilkerson’s “The Cross and the Switchblade”. Annie Fields’ adoption of these two works, combined with multi-media images and montages told with dance, gives us a both an entertaining and moving look into these two men’s lives. Lives that would eventually intersect and make both men stronger for it. Continue reading

Soul Searching: Parable Productions’ It Is Well with My Soul: The Joni Eareckson Tada Story

On Friday, March 23rd, I had the pleasure of attending Parable Productions’ newest endeavor It Is Well with My Soul: The Joni Eareckson Tada Story. Adapted, written, and directed by Annie Fields, It Is Well is based on the autobiography Joni, and focuses on the difficult journey that one woman faces after a tragic accident leaves her a quadriplegic. Continue reading

Surely, You Jest

Parable Productions performs its shows at Calvary Chapel located in Murray. Upon entering the performance space, the audience is treated to sound bytes of real answering machine messages, Amy’s Answering Machine, instead of music before the show, as well as during intermission; I found it a rather inventive and delightful alternative as the sound bytes worked well, in my opinion, to set the tone of the show and keep the audience invested during intermission. There is ample seating here, but the stage is very small. All the more reason why I am always impressed with the typical set and lighting design by Annie Fields, and by how well it makes use of the limited space; this time was no exception. Set in 1990 and spanning the course of roughly four weeks, the entirety of the show takes place in the homey, and just-a-titch kitschy, Chicago apartment of one Miss Sarah Goldman (delightfully portrayed by Marissa Poole); an unmarried, 30-year-old Jewish woman who teaches Kindergarten. Continue reading

Under the Spell of Godspell

What does Domino’s Pizza, Judge Judy, Lady Gaga, Robert J. Debry and Sarah Palin all have in common? They (or at least references of) can all be found in Parable Productions’ charming version of Godspell. One might expect to be mired down with scripture and preaching during a religious show. It was an absolute treat to be drawn into a show through the use of off-the-cuff humor and modern comedic references. Continue reading

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