By Dewayne Bevil
ORLANDO — Holy Land Experience has introduced a new stage show to its lineup with an aim of varying its offerings and encouraging repeat visitors to the Bible-based attraction.
“David: The King of Jerusalem” is now presented in three parts per day in Holy Land’s Church of All Nations, the rounded building at the attraction that motorists may see from Interstate 4, southwest of downtown Orlando.
“I love the stories of the Bible. And the story of King David, it’s just amazing,” said Elizabeth Muren, one of the creative directors. “He was not perfect, he was wild. But at the end of the day, his heart was incredible.”
The original musical production features a large, multigenerational cast. At points, there are dozens of actors on stage in the auditorium, which seats 2,000 people. “David” has replaced, at least temporarily, “The Empire and the Kingdom.” The new show is scheduled to run through Nov. 23.
The attraction’s Christmas show will return this year, said Mike Everett, Holy Land’s general manager, and a new show based on the Queen Esther story will be added in 2020. That would give the attraction a seasonal strategy that would rotate through those four shows, he said.
David “did some really big mess-ups and he covered sin as good as he could. But in our story, this comes to a point where he is exposed and he has to deal with his truth,” said Robert Muren, the other creative director as well as the husband of Elizabeth Muren.
The “David” show includes elaborate costumes and a high-tech stage backed by a tall, side-to-side LED wall used for scenic backgrounds and flashback-type scenes.
“We build a lot of it on the combination between staging and screen, and since the mix of those two elements working together, so it’s like a cinematic drama experience,” Robert Muren said.
Smaller-theater experiences of the attraction continue. They currently include shorter plays about the biblical characters of Lazarus, Talita and Simeon, as well as an outdoor children’s presentation called “Stories with Jesus.”
Also at Holy Land Experience are a scaled-down model of Jerusalem and a Scriptorium stocked with ancient artifacts.