I have been a member of Light the Way Church for about eight or nine years. Each year, they put on the same Christmas play, Two From Galilee, and each year, the performance gets better. That's not to say I was unimpressed the first time I saw it - I was floored by it: the music, singing, staging were fantastic. And each year, the musical gets more fantastic. It's the story of Mary and Joseph and how they come together and deal with the blessing of Christ's conception and birth.
In the past, the church had a set so that as soon as one entered the sanctuary on opening night, one was transported to Galilee, with simulated stone walls and houses that simply swung out on a hinge on either side of the stage. But the stage had to be dismantled this year because the church installed a baptismal pool. So this year, I was surprised on opening night that Galilee was gone. I missed it actually, and struggled for a few moments to adjust to the missing set. I had to let it go. Once I did, I was really drawn in by the music. The play had a new director this year, who realizing that he had a bit of a hurdle without a set, made the best possible choice and focussed on the music. It paid off. The performance is smooth, and the singing and acting are better than ever.
The scenes are well acted, each one drawing the audience into the relationships between the characters. It doesn't matter that there's no set, because the scenes are so well performed that the audience is drawn in to the characters' connections. There's Galilee right there: in the home of a passing relative, in the outer courtyard of a family hosting suitors for their young daughter, in the throngs of travelers making their way to Bethlehem for Ceasar's census. The actors aren't just performing, they're giving; this play is part of the church's mission.
If anybody in the Twin Cities NEEDS a Christmas play, then they have to get to Cottage Grove and see LTW's Two From Galilee. They're only performing one more weekend, Dec. 21-23. The show is free. The church asks for an offering at intermission. And bring a little extra for the bake sale. The proceeds from the performance go to LTW's missions endeavors. Get tickets on the Website www.lightthewaychurch.com.