‘Godspell’ returns to SJCP with classic songs to keep you singing along
Prepare Ye the way for St. John’s Community Players‘ (SJCP) production of the beloved Broadway musical hit Godspell.
The long-running smash hit is structured as a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew, interspersed with modern music set to lyrics from traditional hymns. The original music was so popular that “Day by Day” from the original cast album made it to the top 15 of the Billboard pop singles chart in 1972.
The show’s beginnings go back to Carnegie Mellon University and was a college theatre project in the early 70′s. It has been performed around the world ever since.
Tony Sharpenstein, the show’s director and the Artistic Director/Cofounder of SJCP is thrilled to reprise its Godspell (done in 2012) for the group’s 10th anniversary. Sharpenstein calls Godspell “one of those rare pieces that truly brings a sense of community and bonding friendship within the cast.”
Sharpenstein played the role of Jesus in the 1980′s and “has never forgotten that feeling of camaraderie.”
With a new pastor, Sharpenstein said it just seemed like “the right time” to bring Godspell back.
Godspell aficionados will hum along with their favorite show tunes, and newcomers will delight in the wonderful music.
The current production stars Pamela Bradley, David Craig, Amber dePass, Richard Halenda, Billy Christopher Maupin, Caitlin St. Clair, Anita Sharpenstein, Amy Vaughan, and David Atkins as John the Baptist/Judas and Brian Vaughan as Jesus with musical direction by Shirley Townsend.
Billy Christopher, who plays the role originally called Jeffrey and is now referred to in the revival script as Nick, said he became “rather obsessed with Godspell in college, built an entire website devoted to the show before a comprehensive one existed, and it became the first full show I ever directed.” He continues, “I’ve seen more productions of the show than I can count and each time it’s so different and I have loved it every time.”
It is Maupin’s “favorite musical” and it has been “such a treat to get to revisit it with such an incredible group of people.”
Performances begin November 6 and continue through November 21st in the Fellowship Hall of St. John’s United Church of Christ at 503 Stuart Circle (corner of Monument and Lombardy) and parking can be found behind the church between Grace St. and Monument Avenue.
Although SCJP is limited “in the size of the cast we can use for our adult productions due to our intimate space,” Sharpenstein said they “take pride in always having a live band, [which] adds to the audience members’ experience.”
Perhaps the usher should have handed out boxes of tissue along with the friendly reminder to use the restroom before the show.February 21, 2017
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