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Benson church brings Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' to life

Members of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson on Sunday will present "The Living Last Supper," a dramatic musical representation of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper painting. (DAN BURDETT | TRIBUNE)

The “Living Last Supper” will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson. The dramatic musical is a representation of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper painting.

The artist captured Christ’s final Passover meal with his apostles before Judas identified Christ to the authorities who arrested him.

DaVinci imagined the desire that has entered the minds of the apostles to know who is betraying their Lord.

In the face of each one may be seen love, fear, indignation, or grief at not being able to understand the meaning of Christ and the particular moment he announces, “One of you will betray me.”

The apostles react, each according to his own personality and become greatly distressed and begin to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”

Christ replies, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.”

In the painting you can see Christ and Judas simultaneously reaching toward a plate that lies between them, even as Judas defensively backs away. In fact, each of the disciples in the famous artwork has their hands in specific positions.

For example, Andrew holds both of his hands up in front of him in a frightened gesture that things are getting out of hand and Bartholomew is leaning forward with one hand tightly clenched on the edge of the table revealing that he is upset that one of them will betray Jesus while his other hand is open on the tabletop communicating the desire for a peaceful solution and moderation in all things.

Written by Ruth Elaine Schram, the musical experience for the entire family will be performed on Palm Sunday during Holy Week and directed by Duaine Flanders and Paul Kittelson.

The choir, which features voices from area churches, is under the direction of Jan Goff and the accompanist is Candyce Sowers with flutist Sarah Skarsten and violinist Frank Lawatsch.

The players, in order of appearance, are: Jesus, Ben Mooberry; Simon Peter, Paul Kittelson; Andrew, Rolfe Gomer; James, the Lesser, Jeremy Abrego; James, the Son of Zebedee, Dennis Rustad; Matthew, Duaine Flanders; Simon, the Zealot, Vyke Breen; Bartholomew, Erick Hedman; Philip, Richard Syverson; Thaddaeus, Brian Samuelson; John, Mark Holtan; Thomas, Chuck Koenigs; Judas Iscariot, Andy Zurn and servants, Zoe Doscher and Ellie Moesenthin.

Costumes were designed by Dianne Doscher, Sharon Jergenson, Elaine Mitteness and Susan Snow, with set and props by Dianne and Gene Doscher, Jan Goff and Susan Snow.

Sound is by Jay Alsaker and spotlight by Jonas Habben.

It ends with Jesus inviting everyone in attendance to share in the Passover meal of bread and wine, which will be served by the disciples and Christ.