By Michael Williams
Vocal powerhouse Rachel Barnes begins her second season at the Biblical Times Dinner Theater in a new show “Days of Elijah, The Blood Moons.”
Barnes began singing shortly after she learned to walk. At the tender age of 3 she began singing for her parents. At the age of 8 she performed at her church and has been going strong ever since. Drawing from the influences of her father, who sang gospel music, and gospel recording artist Sandy Patty, Barnes went on to sing in smaller venues in her home town of Memphis, Tennessee.
She attended Bethel University where she studied vocal performance and began listening to southern gospel. It was there she met Blaine Sumler who was performing at the Biblical Times Dinner Theater. Sumler was impressed with Barnes vocals and encouraged her to audition at the popular dinner show. At his urging Barnes auditioned and captivated producer Allan Miller who immediately cast her in “Moses, Mountain of God.” Barnes plays a litany of roles in the new production.
“I have grown so much here at this theater. I was awkward when I first came here,” said Barnes. “This is where God wanted me to be. Knowing that our show has touched so many lives is very rewarding.”
While Barnes enjoys her work at the BTDS, she said she hopes to record a solo CD and would eventually like to perform back-up for a featured artist such as Reba McEntire.
While some religious scholars have pondering the significance of the coming blood moons and some have made dire predictions based on historical events, ‘The Days of Elijah” is a tale of hope, redemption and the return of Christ. The show features the interpretation of the Blood Moons prophecy as presented by Elijah, a prophet of God and Moses who led the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.
The show features the cutting edge holographic technology that was first introduced to the Volunteer State by the Biblical Times Theater. With the use of holograms and computer generated imagery, the cast of the show recreates the story of Elijah and the prophecies of the Blood Moons. The technology is utilized to bring to life the characters from the Bible which interact with live performers often making it difficult to ascertain which characters are real and which are holograms. The holographic technology is the creation of Chris Baker, Michael Friday and Andrew Wang, graduates of East Tennessee State University, all of whom graduated with degrees in digital media.
The show features a cast of award winning gospel singers that have performed with some of the biggest names in gospel music including the Hoppers. The cast includes Benjamin Morelock, Ashley Jenkins, Blaine Sumler, Mary Courtney, Chris Seiglar and Barnes.
The first half of the show features gospel music performed by the cast who all give their testimonies. The second half of the show is a 75 minute performance featuring live actors and holograms which relate the story of Elijah and the Seven Holy Feasts of the Lord.
The show features a meal of Biblical proportions that includes salad, drink, steak tips, ham, chicken fillet, corn, bread, and dessert. The theater features Moses Mountain of God for matinee performances. The story of Moses tells of the Exodus and the liberation of the Israelites. Through holographic technology the audience can experience the parting of the Red Sea and the plagues brought upon the Egyptians. The show features a different meal than the Days of Elijah.
The cast of the BTDS performed in 2014 at the annual 4th of July celebration in Patriot Park in the same line-up that included Lone Star. The cast will return this year performing at 1:30 p.m. The headliner for the event is Diamond Rio.
For more information about the Biblical Times Dinner Show visit the web Site at www.biblicaltimesdinnershow.com or call 865-908-3327.