Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
'The Greatest Hits, Candles in the Dark' was more than a concert, it was a spectacle.
Dancers, musicians and singers performed against the backdrop of black fabric, a part of a set with multiple levels reinforced by strategically placed pillars, representing a cathedral. A not-to-be-ignored cross was part of the set in the first act.
Father Richard Ho Lung, in his welcome and opening remarks, informed the Saturday evening gathering that the show "is a concert in Caribbean style ... a new concept in concert".
The 'Caribbean style' concert began with the singing of Jamaica's National Anthem and a prayer, which preceded a spectacular opening number.
The cast of dancers and vocalists entered the 'cathedral' wearing bright-coloured costumes. The entrances were made from stage right, left and through the audience, with the dancers eventually gathering on the stage. All the while, the group sang and danced to the rhythms of Africa played on dejembe drums and seashells, played by the L'Acadco drummers.
The drumming made way for the concert's title track Candles in the Dark, which was performed by Friends of Father Ho Lung and Brothers of the Poor, who wore white robes with blue sashes and carried lit candles.
Both groups remained to sing the reworked up-tempo Praise Him and 3 Alleluias, before making way for what Father Ho Lung, who was more of a narrator than an MC, described as songs about humanity.
The first was a dramatisation and singing of Jesus took the Blind.
The theme continued with fantastic performances. Rohan Case's passionate delivery of Man of Sorrows; Maria Robinson's just performance of Mary's Lament, Wynton Williams and Leroy Palmer's convincing rendition of Rise Up and four male tenors singing You are God Almighty all did well in presenting that humanity.
After intermission, the Robin Baston set shifted from the 'cathedral' to the forest where Roxanne Williams, a member of the audience, found the night's most interesting moment.
According to her, it was good to see the Brothers "doing the Jamaican ting, doing the revival songs, yeah that was my favourite part".
Her remark was in reference to the praise-and-worship session led by four of the Brothers. The session brought members of the audience to their feet with choruses like Lead me to the Rock and Him ah mi Daddy Oh.
During the song Pentecost, part of Act II, a ball of fire was lowered on to the stage which was eventually transformed into pieces of costume for the singers.
The song was followed by a patriotic Jamaica Jamaica and the humorous rendition of Massa Sammy.
The story of Roberta was told from her perspective and her children in I Don't Understand and I am Just A Boy. Guilty by Association, another song from Roberta's life, was sung by men wearing prison garb, under the shadows of the large white cross.
The spectacular, uplifting family show ended with drumming and the song, We Believe.