Jim Miles, Jordan Linscombe, Nate Vogt, Tanner Vanbebber, Steven R. Dodd
Rob Stennett, Andrew Harmon (Co-director)
John Bolin, Andrew Harmon (Additional Material), Rob Stennett
Over the past 25 years, the stage version of The Thorn, described by some as Cirque meets the passion of Jesus, has played before over 1.5 million people nationwide. Now, creator John Bolin has taken this epic stage production and transformed it into a two-night Fathom event scheduled for March 6th and 7th in theaters nationwide as we head into the Easter season in this most powerful of ways in a show comprised of music, aerial acts, movement arts, modern dance, and visual effects.
Originally created to target high school students, over the years The Thorn has been transformed into a family friendly stage production, admittedly with some intense parts perhaps a bit much for younger children, and this cinematic creation vividly captures the wonder and the awe of the stage production.
I must admit that while I was watching The Thorn I couldn't help but think time and again how it was so very much created for the stage. While the cinematic version is genuinely effective, I can just imagine being in an auditorium experience the wonder of this creation. The stage version lasts for 2-1/2 hours with a 15-minute intermission. The film is a more sharply edited experience at just over 90 minutes with a story inevitably familiar to anyone who is a Christian. The Thorn shares history’s most epic story: God’s love for the world amidst the spiritual battle for all of humanity. The story begins with the creation of the world and weaves through time, highlighting the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, ending with the beginning of the early church. At times, The Thorn is painfully vivid (but not particularly graphic). After all, the crucifixion of Christ was an undeniably brutal act. Thus, the smallest of children may struggle at times and this may well not be a show for those sensitive to strong stimuli. However, for the vast majority of Christians The Thorn will be a powerful event.
The varying elements of The Thorn create a marvelous tapestry carrying both intellectual and emotional power. Performances obviously, and appropriately, lean toward that we would see on stage. The film version tells the story through the eyes of John and Asher ( a young boy on the run from the Romans). Jim Miles as Doubting Thomas is a highlight along with Jordan Linscombe's Jesus. However, it's worth noting that the entire ensemble is quite wonderful.
For more information on this Fathom Event, visit the film's official website.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic