This post is brought to you by the amazing homemade ice cream at Good N Plenty and dedicated to @Mela99 .
This does not make up for my bitterness about not going to Shady Maple.
Today was........something. I'm remembering why I don't sign up for church-related things anymore. As a child, I always wanted to see a show there and I figured you're never too old for cute goats. I was slightly confused when I found out we would be seeing a production of Jonah but it ranks pretty low on the "potentially problematic" bible stories for me.
BOY WAS I WRONG.
I'll start off by saying the set design for the show was FANTASTIC. I want to hug the entire production team (especially the stage manager calling all those cues!) and feed them the baked good of their choice. The music is sung live over a pre-recorded instrumental track so there were a few timing issues but nothing that made the show unbearable.
I'm lying, there's one song where the harmonies are really grating.
Anyway, I'm sitting semi-enjoying the show, smelling too many roasted almonds, and crying over the worst $3 cup of watery iced coffee for all of act one. I shoot off a few texts to family members who I thnk would enjoy the show and settle in for act two. Now they open the show by explaining that they take some creative license with the storyline, biblical purists need not apply. Cool. I was not prepared for what was coming next.
(White) Jonah is projected out of the whale and onto.....an island full of brown natives. These are nice natives (they give him a donkey and clothes!) but they're definitely presented as an "other". Ok...slightly perturbed but we can still recover.
S/N: Being surrounded by whale stomach acid for 3 days turned Jonah's hair from brown to boyband blonde. Seriously, it's in the script.
Jonah Timberlake rides up to the gates of the city full of "evil people with no good in their hearts" who live by the motto "For the honor of Ninevah NEVER SHOW MERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" full of condensation general disgust. Hmm, I wonder what kind of evil no good people he'll find within the city limits?
People in shades darker than "HOA Beige" because of course brown people are ALWAYS THE PROBLEM amen.
The king and queen of Ninevah (and their brown child) are the only major speaking roles portrayed by persons of color in this entire damn show.
I'm pissed. I'm literally shaking.
The Ninevites sing songs that are more gospel than musical theatre. I just shake my head.
Honestly, don't ask me any of the finer plot points of this section because I was about 300% done by then. After Jonah's little vine dies I'm hoping they do an awkward curtain call and call it a day. Of course, you can't end the show on this wonderful (seriously, the moral is prophet or not- don't be an asshole) without having an appearance from the most important figure in American Christianity.
White Jesus™ shows up.
That's right folks! No longer relegated to the much shorter New Testament, White Jesus™ makes an appearance just in time to teach Jonah a lesson and then walk off, hair blowing in the breeze.
If I had been any closer to an exit I would have walked out. They sing one last song in true curtain call form and then White Jesus™ makes another appearance just in time for the final pose. Then they do an abbreviated altar call.
TL;DR White Jesus™ is white and colored folks are evil.