Christmas Musical Spotlight: How Far is it to Bethlehem?

A few posts ago we looked at the musical “Follow the Star,” which focuses on the story of the wise men.  Here is another new musical that deals with that story, but from a somewhat different angle.  “How Far is it to Bethlehem?” imagines that Herod sent a few of his servants to join the caravan of the magi to serve as spies.  The spies try to cover up the real reason for joining the caravan, but in the end, they learn about Jesus, the Messiah.

The number of speaking parts is small in this 42-minute musical (two boys, two girls and some narrators).  There are also many opportunities for non-speaking roles, such as the characters of the biblical Christmas story.

The music has a more traditional sound and is easy to learn.  There are nine  songs: “Come Ye Lofty with O Come, All Ye Faithful,” ” Open the Gates, O Jerusalem,” “How far is it to Bethlehem? with O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds watched their Flocks,” “What will we Find,” “Star Song,” “One King with We Three Kings,” “Not that far from Bethlehem,” and “I Give it All with Offering.”

Click on the link below to listen to samples of this musical.

How Far is it to Bethlehem?

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2 Responses to “Christmas Musical Spotlight: How Far is it to Bethlehem?”

  1. Raquel Says:

    This is a cute musical. The people I did it with added one more boy an girl though.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    We did this musical just recently at our church. We modified some of the staging suggestions due to how our stage was set-up. We had a brick wall with a door and two straw beds for Kings Herod’s stable which is much nicer than an inn stable. And we had the traditional in. We added an ox cart in the middle of the stage for more of a travel appearance. With all of that said on staging the musical went so well our church deemed it the best we have had in decades. The story was cute, the message powerful and the music pulled everything together. We had shephards and the angel silent act during ‘While Shephards watch their flock by night” We had the three wise men come out of the caravan with a huge star map looking like they were doing calculations during the scene before star song. And then they were coreographed with movements during “One king”. The finale we had all of the silent characters move towards the manger and bow when the song spoke about each part. Amos ended the musical will joining the group bowing as well as the caravan bowing. It was amazing, simple yet left the meaning clear.

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