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Bryan Manning portrays Jesus in ''The Choice,'' a musical drama of Maplewood First Baptist Church, 4421 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur. The production will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the church. (Special to the American Press)<br>

Bryan Manning portrays Jesus in ''The Choice,'' a musical drama of Maplewood First Baptist Church, 4421 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur. The production will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the church. (Special to the American Press)

Sulphur church presents second annual Easter musical drama

Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:31 AM

By Cliff Seiber / American Press

SULPHUR — A Roman centurion’s attraction to a Jewish girl and follower of Jesus sets up conflicts of the heart and faith in “The Choice,” a musical drama presented by Maplewood First Baptist Church in observance of Easter.

The production had its debut Sunday and will be presented again at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The setting is during the reign of Tiberius Caesar and the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, director Monty Jones said. He is the church’s minister of music.

“I grew up here and was involved with ACTS Theatre as a child,” Jones said. “After living in Houston for 17 years, I returned, and the church gives me a chance to work in drama as an extension of my childhood experience.”

Jones does acting duty as Marcus, the centurion. Angie Manning plays Hannah, the young Jewish woman, and her brother, Bryan Manning, portrays Jesus. Dean Hanson is Pontius Pilate, and Reuben Broussard is Caiaphas.

Other cast members include Joey MacNamara, Janice Keller, Jace Verdin, Nick Gadd, David Pool, Ken Broussard, Patrick Stanley, Bob Rust, Andrew Lyons, Randy Thibodeaux and Dawson Pool.

The adult and children’s choirs of the church also sing in the production.

“The score, reminiscent of Andrew Lloyd Webber, is a dramatic musical created by Robert and Cindy Sterling,” Jones said.

The Roman soldier has a servant who is sick, and Jesus heals him. Marcus’ contact with Jesus and his words convince him that he must make a choice. He weighs the power of his station in the Roman Empire and the faith of Hannah and the other followers of Jesus.

The play is the second annual Easter drama presented at the church. It is fully staged with “sets and costumes to transport the audience back to the period of Christ’s last days” before his death, Jones said. About 100 people, including cast, crew and choirs, are involved.

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