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Issue #1:

What's This All Supposed To Be About, Anyway?:

Well, I'm glad you asked! Here's the brief run-down of what the show is. This passage also appears in the home show program/ad book.

"The Divine Comedy" is a work based on Dante Alighieri's like named classic epic poem. The story of Dante's supernatural journey is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The first movement, "The Inferno," portrays Dante's vision of hell. The principle theme behind the literary work is the concept of symbolic retribution; that a soul's eternal damnation in hell is directly correlated to the character and weight of his sin on earth. The movement is divided into four sections, each pertaining to the four categories of sin: "incontinence" the opening statement, "violence" with it's intense storms and fiery sands, "ordinary fraud" where hypocrites file endlessly with lead coats, and lastly "treacherous fraud". As Dante and Virgil enter this last circle of hell, they hear a hideous, hellish reveille; they then are confronted with the sight of Lucifer, whose three mouths are eternally rending Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. Dante and Virgil climb down the flanks of Lucifer, exiting to the other hemisphere from the fiery world of "The Inferno."

The second movement, "Purgatorio," picks up from "The Inferno" on the shores of the island mountain Purgatory. The mountain is comprised of seven terraces, each with punishments symbolic of one of the "seven deadly sins." Each sin is depicted appropriately; for example, the sin of the first terrace is "pride." The souls plod slowly around the mountain, bowed double by huge rocks burdening them; the sounds of lamenting souls, dragging their heavy loads, can be heard against the haunting melodic line. As Dante and Virgil continue up the mountain, they feel a violent quaking, signaling the completion of one soul's penance, for which all the souls give thanks; the redeemed soul then ascends to Paradiso (heaven), taking their rightful place in relation to God.

"Paradiso," Dante begins takes his journey to Paradise. As Dante makes The Ascension into heaven, he is instantly enamored with the myriad beams of light, which the mallet percussion represent. Beginning with a single "beam", each added note is another beam added to the intensity of the colorful and complex lights. As he enters the innermost center of heaven, Dante looks to the highest tier, where he sees Mary enthroned, surrounded by a thousand joyful angels. With a gracious smile from the Virgin Mary, Dante is permitted the Beatific Vision. Within one blinding light, he recognizes the dim image of a human face; the face of God.