April 22, 2014
And the Word Is Good in Godspell
: Poster design by Parker Wrenn (DE '12).
Godspell at Raisbeck: Jesus rediscovered, deepened, in a new production of the 1970s off-Broadway hit musical.
Whatever happened to “hippie Jesus”? That comforting proponent of peace is hard to find, overrun as we are of late by meaner, harder “Jesuses” thrust on us by some Christian fundamentalist groups: the Jesus who wants you to be rich; the Jesus who hates gay people and loves guns; the fightin’ Jesus aching to wreak vengeance on unbelievers. What happened to love? Forgiveness? Gentleness? Poverty? Feeding the masses? Saving the condemned? That’s the Jesus of the Gospels, and no depiction of the Nazerene captures him as well as Godspell, a musical conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (who later gave us Wicked). Audiences can rediscover this inspirational musical theater hit from the 1970s, when it opens tonight (Tuesday, April 22) at Cornish’s Raisbeck Performance Hall. Godspell is directed by Katheryn Van Meter with musical direction by Adam Quillian.
Structured as a series of parables and based primarily on the Gospel according to Matthew (with a little Luke mixed in), Godspell features a sparkling score and boasts a string of well-loved songs including “Day By Day,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All For The Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and many others. The show’s themes of tolerance, love, and community are both timeless and timely. Jan Hubert, resident producer with the Theater Department, remarks that the students working on the production “have been very affected by the recent landslide disaster in Oso, and because of the nature of the show, have felt compelled to raise awareness for the victims.” Theatergoers will find an insert in the Godspell program explaining how to text the Red Cross on behalf of the victims of the Oso slide.
Godspell, April 22 and 24-26 at 8:00 p.m. and April 27 at 2:00 p.m. Raisbeck Performance Hall, 2015 Boren Avenue, Seattle.
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