Roanne Holliman acknowledges that "The Day He Wore My Crown," a Resurrection musical to be presented by the Living Waters Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley for Palm and Easter Sunday weekends, is no rival to the Crystal Cathedral's annual "Glory of Easter" spectacular.
"Last year was the first time we'd done anything on this scale," Holliman said. "We don't have name actors, and we don't have live animals."
But Holliman, the associate director, said she feels that the intimate setting of the church sanctuary provides a more personal experience. "You're not 200 feet away from the action. You're only 20 feet away. Every seat is good." (The church seats about 300 people.)
Created and produced by David T. Clydesdale, "The Day He Wore My Crown" features 14 songs by contemporary Christian artists, including Dallas Holm, Dottie Rambo, Tim Sheppard, Brent Lamb, Lanny Wolfe, Larri Goss and Bill and Gloria Gaither.
"It's a serious musical-drama of the last week in Jesus' life," Holliman said. "We portray the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, his betrayal in the garden, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.
"Our sanctuary has a 60-foot raised stage, and one wall is glass, looking out into a garden. Some of the action takes place there."
Holliman describes the Crucifixion scene as "very realistic"--not for young children. "We have some beautiful special effects, but some scenes might be too intense for children under 5. As a matter of fact, we're making sure the children in our cast see the props up close and how they work, so they won't be afraid." (Child care will be available at the church during performances, Holliman said.)
The cast of 70 is made up mostly of church members and a few non-members from nearby communities. The choir is in costume and not only sings but also acts.
"Our Jesus is Tim Szabo. He plays the part very gently but with a lot of underlying strength," Holliman said.
Tim's father, Kenneth, plays the centurion. Holliman herself performs double duty. She plays the part of Mary Magdalene.
There is no charge for tickets. The church held a fund-raiser to pay for the production so that "anyone can come and see it, whether they have money or not," Holliman said.
The church is at 9801 Talbert Ave. Performances which began Friday, will be given today and Sunday and March 28 to 30 at 7 p.m.