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Ho Lung puts Parables on show

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Parables, the latest production from Father Ho Lung and Friends, is not only expected to entertain but, to instil a sense of purpose.

“It is aimed at opening our eyes to see life and its purposes... the drama itself is the new evangelisation; using new artistic forms to spread the gospel,” Father Richard Ho Lung, head of the Missionaries of the Poor, told the Jamaica Observer.

Parables, which opened last night at The Little Theatre in St Andrew, continues today with two shows — 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and is scheduled to run next weekend. It is Ho Lung's 20th production and his 47th year of presentation.

According to the Catholic priest, the musical has six mini-operas and each one has a biblical story.

“Each story is dramatic and very powerful. We'll be using Jamaica's diverse music forms to tell the stories: reggae, ska, Nyabinghi, revival and dancehall... And we'll be using a lot of dancing,” he said.

The stories will be about: Blind Bartimaeus, whom Jesus healed; King David; the Rich Man and Lazarus; The Prodigal Son; the pestilences that came down on Egypt; and Jesus ridding the boy of demons.

Parables cast members include Carlos Henry, Romario Ricketts, and Leighton Jones. The behind-the-scenes crew include: costume design — Clayton Gidden; director — Gregory Thames; lighting — Robin Baston; choreographer — Paula Shaw; and musical director — Winton Williams.

Beginning in 1981, Missionaries of the Poor is a Jamaica-based religious institute of Catholic brothers who offers free service to needy people. Over the years, Father Ho Lung and his Missionaries of the Poor have raised millions of dollars for various charities through the staging of musical productions. Missions are located in Jamaica, Kenya, Uganda, India, Haiti, The Philippines, the USA, and East Timor.

“All proceeds from our plays go towards the poor and destitute. The productions are major fund-raisers for us to take care of the needy, as there is no charge to them. And we do not accept money from the government,” he said.

Last year's production, Queen Esther, won three Actor Boy Awards for Best Costume Designer, Best Choreographer, and Best Musical.