There’s a lot to love about this rousing musical, which turns to the sounds and structures of African-American Pentecostalism to retell Sophocles’ story of the accursed Oedipus and the haven he finds at last in the city of Colonus. From the opening chorus of “Live Where You Can” to the ecstatic tambourine-driven rhythms of “Lift Him Up” and the slow-spreading glory of “Now Let the Weeping Cease,” Bob Telson’s gospel score is a many-splendored, richly harmonized thing, and the Theater Alliance has assembled a fine, full-voiced ensemble to make its variously woeful and joyful noises. (Stephawn P. Stephens’ commanding Theseus and Jerusa Carl Wilson’s smooth-operatin’ Polyneices are among the male standouts, and there are too many sensational voices among the women to single any one out for praise.) James Foster’s silver-haired, deep-voiced Preacher is the evening’s dignified anchor, and the production looks as good as it sounds: Tony Cisek wraps the black-box space with simple swaths of muslin, while Cynthia Webb Manly’s elegant costume scheme dresses the choir in subtle variations on white and ivory. Still, the show would be better off if the minimalist aesthetic didn’t extend to Paul-Douglas Michnewicz’s direction, which frequently lets the stage pictures congeal into static clumps of chorus. Indifferent acting, too, makes this Gospel less a work of theater than its creators intended—even the central characters of Oedipus and Antigone are pretty thinly characterized here—but the sheer thrill of all that passionately made music nonetheless makes the end product a damn sight more stimulating than a lot of what passes locally for drama. And even in a playhouse, there’s no sin in getting your church on every now and then. —Trey Graham