I just returned from a weekend workshop with the wonderful folks at Brightmoor Christian Church in Novi, MI (suburban Detroit). Brightmoor commissioned an entirely new, full-blown, 2 1/2 hour two act Christmas musical to be staged for the very first time this Christmas.
I have been working on the show for the past year and a half. It has been my full-time job for the last six months. And after this weekend, for the first time I have the sense that it is actually happening. The show is called “God Bless Us Every One.” As the title suggests, it is related to Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” GBUEO (as the show has come to be called in countless emails and script drafts) is the story of Tiny Tim as an adult. I will post more about the show in the months to come. But I believe it is safe to say this show is as challenging and complete a piece of musical theater as ever tackled by any church. David Basel, creative arts pastor, Senior Pastor Jamie Kjos, and the entire BCC congregation are to be commended for this undertaking. It is huge by any standard.
And the mind-blowing thing is this: They present the show to the entire Detroit area free of charge. The show is the church’s gift to its community.
This recent visit was my fourth to Detroit, but my first time to see the city without eight inches of snow on the ground. As one who spent his summers in the Texas and Tennessee heat, Detroit’s definition of summer (highs in the mid-70s) is something I could get used to.
Also, for the first time, we had the luxury to do some sightseeing. And what musician’s visit to Detroit would be complete without seeing the famed Motown recording facilities: Hitsville USA? It is a terrific reminder to all us recording musicians that you don’t need 128 tracks of digital audio to make great records. There I am on the front steps of Hitsville with the famed Temptations serving as my back-up group. And believe me, that is the only way I will ever be lead singer of anything any where any time. 🙂