My friend David Sanborn, who produced, directed and starred in Judah Ben Hur
, the musical in which I performed in Singapore in 2001-2002. He paid to change his ticket so as to leave a few days later for Asia (turns out we were there, in different countries, during the same time period) so he could help his folks on their new ministries
. During those extra days he happened upon a casting call for a show in Pigeon Forge. He'd never heard of the place and went on about his business. Later his mom, Ellen Sanborn (another Judah Ben Hur
producer, director and star), asked him if he'd seen the call. He said he wasn't interested, but she said, "David, did you read the breakdown? They're looking for you." He met with them and they cast him in the lead role of Jesus on a one year contract. He's rooming with the guy who plays Judas. They get along quite well.
I was passing through, so I caught a show. It was phenomenal. They've used their $15 million budget well. Not only do they have the expected donkeys and horses, they had three camels (which double for animal rides between shows). They also had massive sets, extensive video work and lots of flying angels. The wings pictured here actually articulate. Pretty cool.
If you're in the area, check it out: MiracleTheater.com
. Get to town early. Traffic is almost as bad as New York. I turned the wrong way out of the parking lot, so I had to drive through town twice. It added an hour to my journey.