Evangel Catherdral has drawn gospel artist heavy-hitters to Upper Marlboro for its Christmas Celebration replete with music, a laser show and live animals. The Broadway-style musical began on Dec. 1 and plays on weekends through Dec. 16.
"Evangel Cathedral pulled out all the stops with their spectacular musical production," said Examiner.com , raving about its "breathtaking sets" and "first-rate" cast. The gospel stars who are participating in the cathedral's 22nd year of the holiday production are BeBe & CeCe Winans, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett—and joining the production for the first time this year are Mary Mary, Wess Morgan, and Kiki Sheard, said Elder Kevin Matthews, who said he has been executive producer for the production for the last 12 years.
A few of the artists vary their participation by date, but all of them will be in the Dec. 16 production, Matthews said. The artists join a cast of more than 200.
Matthews has enjoyed seeing how the cast compliment and interract with each other behind the scenes, where he said the real production takes place. "These people are big stars in the arena but they are common people that can be touched. And they don't have huge egos," he said.
The arts are important in the DMV zone according to Matthews, and Evangel Cathedral is reaching out to the area through a medium it appreciates.
"We use the arts to spread our message that Christ is the answer," Matthews said.
The production also entertains with live animals that include 20 camels, llamas, sheep, dogs and horses, according to Matthews.
The two hour and 10 minute musical takes the audience through the birth of Christ to his return, Matthews said.
Remaining performances are scheduled for Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16 with three performances each Saturday at 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. and one performance each Sunday at 5 p.m.
Ticket buyers who ask for a special price at $15 less than the listed prices will get it, if they purchase general or VIP seating, Matthews said. Listed prices are $65 for general seating, $75 for VIP, and $85 for exclusive, Matthews stated.
VIP seats are closer to the stage than general seating, but even the general admission seats have a good line of sight, Matthews said. VIP tickets include seating in the center of the first 10 rows, a DVD of the production, and reserved parking, according to Matthews.
Evangel Cathedral puts on the production to provide wholesome entertainment for the whole family, according to Matthews, who said it wanted to give people the opportunity to come to a church setting in a non-traditional way.