“The Prodigal” Goes On the Big Stage

( [email protected] ) Jan 23, 2004 12:42 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- What began as a local church musical made its way to the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien, Washington, Jan. 21.

“Prodigal” the Broadway-style musical portraying the biblical story of the prodigal son, was first staged in the sanctuary of Federal Way United Methodist Church last spring, and has received a standing ovation with six sold-out shows and tremendous audience response.

Federal Way commissioned music director, Andrew T. Miller, to write and produce an original show drawn from a story in the Bible. Miller’s choice, “The Prodigal”, is based on Jesus’ parable of a rebellious son who leaves his family, wastes his inheritance, and is accepted back home with forgiveness and unconditional love.

"Regardless of where you go or what you've done, there's a love for you that's greater than you are - that's always there with you," Miller said.

Internationally renown opera star Robert McPherson, a longtime friend of Miller's, plays a leading role.

“The story's universal appeal persuaded him to participate,” said miller. .

"I think in a lot of ways, everybody can find themselves in 'The Prodigal' because at one time we've all been a prodigal of some sort," McPherson said. "We all went out on our own journey to only find out that it was at home all the time, it was in front of us and we just couldn't see it."

"The whole idea was not to do a church musical, it was to create a show - and have a show that is exciting, entertaining, beautifully done" and with moving music, McPherson said.

The cast plans to record a CD with the Seattle Symphony soon, and Miller has received contacts in New York about possibly producing the show on an even bigger scale. Miller dreams of taking the story of God’s love all the way to Broadway.

"Who knows what may happen? But I think the possibility is there because I think there's a broad-based appeal for the common guy," he said. "To me, the story is about God's love, and always has been and always will be."