Travel Log: July 2020. Our 22nd day.
Thanks to our parents, my favorite Biblical stories are likely the same as many others. I loved when my father would read about Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the Lions Den.
Before I was old enough to read, I recall drawing and coloring a picture of animals on Noah’s Ark in Vacation Bible School.
With cousins Patti, Carolyn, Gayle and Dennis Sanders, along with friends Sue and Johnny Standridge, we were proud to have our art work displayed in the South San Antonio church in the summer of 1961.
I never really questioned the validity of the stories. Even when a 1974 socialogy professor at Southwest Texas State University tried his best to make fun of Christian students for believing, did I have doubts. I just walked out of the class and never returned. Dropped it (So did several others).
Many things about college broadened my ideologies and “expanded my horizons.” I even naively voted for Jimmy Carter, but only the first time. Even after interviewing the President at the Alamo a few days before the 1980 election, I didn’t vote to reelect him.
Thankfully, I didn’t naively fall for most of the indoctrination attempts, even back in 70s. Even those I did were quickly dissolved when I became a parent and more productive taxpayer.
With a natural skepticism for politicians, lobbyists, liberal education agendas and society experimenters, I didn’t succumb…or doubt the story of Noah’s Ark.
Sure, I had the common questions on how it was practically possible. Could the ark really fit that many animals? Could it float with that much weight? I’ve read many of the debates, theories and accounts on the subject.
Our recent visit to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky put many questions to rest, but opened up new ones: dinosaurs? animal waste? insects?
It was another serendipitous moment driving into Branson, Missouri two days later and seeing a “NOAH-The Musical” billboard sign of it playing at the Sight and Sound Theater there. We signed up for tickets.
Never in my dreams could I have imagined how this could be turned into a great play.
I’ve seen Broadway productions in New York of Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Wicked, and Mama Mia.
Living above the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, I saw (and wrote about many) practically every performance played there for five years.
Let me tell you, dear friends, “NOAH-The Musical” is spectacular. It’s very informative and the “WOW” factor of the production is the best I’ve experienced anywhere.
The sets are incredible, and worth the price of seeing alone. The engineering, artistry, and time that went into creating them is truly astounding.
The fortunate aspect of the play is that the singing and acting talent is a must see complement to the total production. We were fortunate to have second row seats on the center aisle (front row empty for social distancing). The up-close perspective of the actors, emotion on their faces and the quirky little things that the animals do are fantastic. Many of the animals passed by us to enter the stage from a mechanical ramp at center stage. It’s like having our own personal experience, way beyond any theater. At one point, after intermission, the stage opens up on both sides to further captivate the audience.
Dodie loved watching the live pigs, goats, sheep, donkey, horses, camels and dogs go by. There were also doves that flew overhead on several occasions.
From the moment you drive into the parking lot, Sight and Sound is impressive. The building is large with several shining domes and beautiful landscaping that includes a large statue of a lion and lamb.
The lobby is equally lovely with decor that brings you back to Biblical times. Besides the box office, there are concession stands that offer a small, but tasty assortment of reasonably priced foods.
Ushers are helpful and anticipatory. They offered booster seats for children, pushed wheelchairs, and checked for special needs.
It’s a state-of-the-art 2000-seat, 339,000 square foot theater and has become a favored destination of Branson audiences. The shows produced by Sight & Sound feature a professional cast of more than 50, elaborate sets towering up to 40 feet high, hundreds of costumes, and trained animals. Wonderful special effects permeate the shows and include set pieces that rise up through the stage floor, 3D video imaging, pyrotechnics and artistic lighting effects including lasers.
It feels like a cast of hundreds, and looks like it as well when the stage is full. There’s everything from singing to dancing to rhythmic gymnastics, live animals, animatronic elephants, penguins, giraffes and Galapagos turtles. It’s masterfully produced at four levels high, complete with animals, baskets, food storage, and everything so many other conceivable needs for the Ark’s voyage.
Noah, is on stage for almost the entire show, and is in most musical numbers, as well as racing throughout the Ark, up and down ladders, and makes the feat look simple.
“NOAH’ is more than the story of an ark filled with animals. This is the epic tale of how one man faced a monumental decision that led to a seemingly impossible task and a world changed forever,” said Sight & Sound Chief Creative Officer Josh Enck. “It’s been nine years since audiences enjoyed ‘NOAH’ in Branson and 25 years since its debut performance. Now, a new generation of families can enjoy this story as they’ve never experienced it before.”
Noah is such an extraordinary story. It is truly one of hope and the faithfulness of God’s promises. We left the theater with a renewed sense of inspiration and hope.
Entertainment History Religion Travel Log Bible Branson Creative Dodie Dennis Education Entertainment Floods Good News Happiness History Jesus Christ Missouri Music Noah's Ark Perspective Religion Roadtrips Theater Travel
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.