Monday, March 01, 2010
When Religion and Musical Theater Meet
Little did I know when I went to a Megillah (the Book of Esther) reading on Saturday night (Purim) at B'nai Jeshurun, that I would be treated to the best service ever. The evening included Hebrew prayers set to songs from The Sound of Music ("The Lonely Goatherd," "A Few Of My Favorite Things," and "Do-Re-Mi") and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ("Jacob and Sons" and "Go, Go, Go Joseph"). I hadn't witnessed this before, but I love the idea of using musical theater or even popular music in a service. Not that it would work for every occasion--Purim is a fun and joyous holiday--but I think it is worthwhile to hear prayers in a new way. I'm used to reciting the prayers from memory, and this forced me to pay attention so that I wouldn't be singing the actual words of the song. Have any of you experienced crossover between musical theater and religion?