Church to use unusual drama to tell Christmas story - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Church to use unusual drama to tell Christmas story

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That's right it's based on the Chevy Chase movie many watch every year. That's right it's based on the Chevy Chase movie many watch every year.
Pastor Brian Anderson says Crossroads may just be the only church in the country taking on a drama like this. Pastor Brian Anderson says Crossroads may just be the only church in the country taking on a drama like this.
Cutrell also programmed and organized all the music for the show. Cutrell also programmed and organized all the music for the show.
Along with live contemporary music, there's 25,000 synchronized lights. Along with live contemporary music, there's 25,000 synchronized lights.
JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

It's a Christmas play loosely based on an PG13-rated mainstream movie, complete with a musical show featuring 25,000 lights.

Yet, CrossRoads church in Jackson feels the unusual drama may actually be the best way to get the real meaning of Christmas across.

Pastor Brian Anderson says Crossroads may just be the only church in the country taking on a drama like this called: Another Christmas Vacation.

That's right it's based on the Chevy Chase movie many watch every year.

The idea is to let all those twinkling lights highlight the birth of Christ instead of losing it in the glare.

Those who watch will see fun old-fashioned family Christmas with Mark and Marcy Griswold.

Cousin Freddie arrives unexpectedly in his RV to provide lots of laughs and Grandma Gris may be 80, but she's a spitfire!

"I think every single person will be able to watch it and say that is my family," said Becky Arends, who plays Marcy Griswold.

"Of course there is an iconic movie reference there but we have cleaned it up and made it an inspiring and faith firming story. But we've left the notion of someone who is trying to make Christmas work for his family," said Anderson.

"It's a crazy idea, but if it wasn't crazy it wouldn't fit or work with Crossroads at all," said Worship Pastor, Andy Cutrell.

Cutrell also programmed and organized all the music for the show.

Church leaders say some may call it extreme, but they believe this is how you reach those hard to reach.

Along with live contemporary music, there's 25,000 synchronized lights.

"I had to basically record a Christmas album and give it to them so that they could program all the lights to it," said Cutrell.

In the drama, Mark Griswold, Clark's grandson and his wife, Marcy, try to plan the perfect Christmas. However, they end up letting the secular side of Christmas attack.

In the end there's a twist that the people of Crossroads feel will actually let the real meaning of Christmas shine in the glow of all those lights.

They want, the play reminds us that it's okay to be real people, just like the Griswolds.

"It's okay to laugh and enjoy the gifts, but let's not lose the focus of what Christmas is all about," said Carl Ritter, who plays Mark Griswold.

It takes about an hour to program 10 seconds of lights for the show.

Again, it may be loosely inspired by an PG13-rated movie but the script is kid friendly.

The admission is free.

There will be three performances:

• Friday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.

Crossroads Church is located at 4400 E. Jackson Blvd. Turn onto Sappington Drive near McDowell South off E. Jackson Blvd.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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