For sheer revivalist fervor, it would be hard to beat the revival of "Your Arms Too Short to Box With God," at the Ambassador Theater. Inspired by the Book of Matthew, Vinnette Carroll's celebration is part passion play, part dance drama, and part gospel musical. The first act begins and ends with Micki Grant's setting for the Beatitudes, sung by a robed choir beneath the stained-glass windows of William Schroeder's church-like setting.
HAving acted, sung, and danced the story of Jesus, the numerous onstage company turns in the second act to celebration. Julius Richard Brown, who promised "We're Gonna Have a Good Time," rouses the congregation with "Didn't I Tell You." Joy and reverence are the hallmarks of this exuberent occasion. The cash abounds in talent. But it would be impossible to overlook the gospel-singing Jennifer-Yvette Holliday, a newcomer who won two standing ovations for one of her numbers on opening night.