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Godspell

The show is located at Circle In The Square, 1633 Broadway at 50th Street.  It opened on November 7, 2011. The show has an open ended run.

"Godspell" is a musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak.   It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971.  The musical moved from the Cherry Lane Theatre to the Promenade Theatre on August 10, 1971.  It became the longest running off-Broadway musical before moving to Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in June 22, 1976.  The musical closed on September 1977 after an additional 527 performances on Broadway (for a total of 2,600). "Godspell"" played various touring companies and revivals many times since. 

The word "Gospel"  is derived from Anglo Saxon "Godspell" (ca A D 1,000) which means "good word". (Wikipedia)  

Choreographer is Christopher Gattelli. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Choreographer for "South Pacific" and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for "Altar Boyz".  He won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreographer for "Altar Boyz" and "Bat Boy: The Musical".

 For this production Stephen Schwartz did the music and new lyrics. He has won the Drama Desks Award for outstanding lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.  They are "Pippin", "Godspell", music/lyrics, "Rags", lyrics and "Working", music/lyrics, and book.  In 2008 he was given a star in the Hollywood Hall of Fame. In  2009, he was inducted into the song writers Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

John-Mitchell Tebelak co-wrote with David Greene the 1973 film version of "Godspell".  He died on April 2, 1985 at the age of 36 of a heart attack.

"Godspell" is  a modern day version of the gospel of Matthew.  John the Baptist calls a group young disciples to leave there every day lives and follow Jesus Christ.  Jesus interprets the gospel to his followers.  He uses song and comedy. 

This production is a 2012 narration, which they keep updating on current issues.  The first scene seem a little slow but after that it picks up momentum and keeps going strong.

The disciples walk in the water.  Which makes for a wet stage.  Jesus glides over the water.

When Jesus (Hunter Parrish) explains his teaching he does it a way people can relate to now.  No matter what your religious beliefs are you can understand.

A comment was made that God was taking all of the information down on his I Pad Touch.  Steve Jobs must to have brought a couple of the up when he came.  This is Circle In the Square, the cast  converges with the audience, sits with them, comes down  the aisle and just hang out.

During intermission wine is served on stage okay it's grape juice.

The second act is more intense and spirtual.

The cast is superior.  Especially divine is Hunter Parrish, Wallace Smith, Uzo Aduba and Telly Leung.  Nick Blaemire talking voice was so squeaky that you wondered if that was his real voice.  Anna Maria Perez de Tagle rendition of "Day by Day" is classic.  It's beautify done.

There are four people playing electric guitar in the audience seats in different locations.  A sunken piano is on the stage.

I was reluctant to see the show since the critics reviews were not favorable.  BUT every time I saw some one with a Playbill of  "Godspell" I asked if they liked it and they all raved about it.    I'm glad I didn't listen to the other critics whoops that's right I am a critic.  Well this theatre critic says go see this show.  Even if it's a revival that was done forty one years ago.  The theme is the same but the rest is 2012, even the clothes are modern.  Well almost, I can't see any one wearing the shorts Morgan James wore except a Jester.

This is an enjoyable show that may get you thinking  of things we learned  when we were younger that we may have forgotten. 

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

  

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