Daniel the Musical completes world premiere at Jerusalem Theatre
Kehila News, Kehila News Israel Staff, October 23, 2019
Daniel The Musical completed the final performance of its world premiere to a near full house at the iconic Jerusalem Theatre. The Broadway-style musical opened on October 10, 2019 and ran through October 22, 2019. Unfortunately, the performance was suspended for several days after Andile Gumbi, the lead actor playing King Nebu (Nebuchadnezzar), suffered a heart attack and is still in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem.
Below is part of the official press released by Joe Niemand, producer of Daniel the Musical, before arriving in Jerusalem:
The book of Daniel is a captivating story told to children the world over. Daniel and his friends are abducted by King Nebu and will face many challenges in Babylon where their faith in the God of Israel is tested beyond human limits. Will they overcome fear and remain true? From its soaring African voices to the thundering of the drums, Daniel The Musical is a tour de force. A musical production of epic proportions that will bring to life this gripping story of heroic faith, with the flair and passion of Africa.
The artistic concept of the show is a creative bridge between the nations of Israel and South Africa. A Hebrew story that visually is African with compositions that have flavours of the Middle East but have African arrangements. At the heart of this musical is a group of passionate artists who have been inspired to reach out to the people of Israel in friendship.
This is a team of people brought together from many different cultures and backgrounds in South Africa with the unified purpose of showing the people of Israel love on behalf of our nation. We believe in the God of Israel and as artists we have been inspired to take God at His Word that those who bless Israel will be blessed. Our country has challenges that can only be solved by God and we believe that He has inspired us to do this musical at this specific time.
There have been some amazing challenges in putting together this production. One of the first challenges was finding a suitable theatre to host such a large-scale musical with only 3 months’ notice. There is only one theatre in Jerusalem that is capable of technically hosting a Broadway-style musical of this size and it is the Sherover Hall at the Jerusalem Theatre Hall (“JTH”). They could only help us with a date in 2021 and the chances of getting a whole week’s booking was very unlikely due to their full annual schedule.
We believed that God said it had to take place in October 2019, but we were informed by the theatre that this would be impossible. On top of their full schedule they would be closed for renovations between July and October 2019. This was the miracle we needed. We believed that God had arranged these circumstances to make available this time for His appointed time, in a theatre where productions don’t run for more than a couple of days and where it would under normal circumstances never be available for so long and at such short notice.
The theatre said that if the building project finished a month earlier than planned, (which they were sure would NOT happen) Daniel The Musical could have that time. This gave us a window to ‘book’ the JT for the first 3 weeks in October, taking on the risk that the renovations would be completed in time while we returned home to the challenge of creating a full-length musical production in a supernaturally short time. We took a step of faith and trusted God, because He directed us to the theatre in the first place.
In September 2019, when the production was already in final rehearsals, the Jerusalem Theatre contacted the team to state that it seemed like the renovations could possibly be completed a month ahead of schedule. In the second week of September, less than a month before opening night, the theatre was secured. This is just one of many wonderful testimonies which have testified to God’s hand of blessing on this production.