Reconsidering a King as a Lord of the DanceNote: it was a sling, not a slingshot. Also, in case you're wondering, Metatron does not actually appear in 2 Samuel. I'm not sure which midrash served as the inspiration. Anyone know?
The Spirit That Moves Theater J's 'David' Comes From the Sole
By Celia Wren
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, May 18, 2008; Page M04
You might think of it as the original "Dancing With the Stars." The biblical book of 2 Samuel recounts how David, king of Israel, leaped and capered in worshipful jubilation as the ark of the covenant -- symbolizing God's presence -- progressed toward Jerusalem.
That scriptural episode has long fascinated Yehuda Hyman, a Los Angeles playwright and former professional dancer. With the gamboling-monarch anecdote at the back of his mind, Hyman found himself musing more broadly on the David story. The upshot is "David in Shadow and Light," a musical receiving its world premiere at Theater J. Boasting a libretto by Hyman and a Middle Eastern-flavored score by Daniel Hoffman (a klezmer violin virtuoso), the show runs through June 22 under Nick Olcott's direction.
"David" is a chronicle of the biblical hero, from his slingshot triumph to his exploits as army commander to the highs and lows of his reign over Israel. With a quarter-million-dollar budget, a four-person band and staging that runs to puppetry and other high-concept touches, the musical is the boldest, costliest and most time-intensive production ever for Theater J, according to Artistic Director Ari Roth.
The cast includes Matt Pearson (MetroStage's "tick, tick . . . BOOM!") as the young David, and Bobby Smith doubling as Saul and the older David. Will Gartshore portrays Saul's son Jonathan. Enlivening the musical's postmodern-frame tale (based on a legend from a midrash, a storytelling exegesis of biblical texts), Donna Migliaccio depicts the Archangel Metatron, who is screening a movie biography of David for Adam (Norman Aronovic), of Garden of Eden fame.
Cross file under "Metatron watch."
UPDATE (17 June): More here.