Godspell: Beautiful ShowBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 25th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Act III Theatre Company’s production of Godspell [MP3 3:39 1MB].
Laura: This weekend we saw The Act III Theatre Company, a division of Encore Stage & Studio, production of Godspell in Arlington, Virginia.
Mike: Godspell is a musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. The music and the lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz and the book was by John Michael Tebelak.
Laura: I enjoyed this production very much. I though the colors were very bright. It did feel kind of 70ish, but that’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed the songs, the music, the singing. They really seemed to enjoy what they were doing; getting into their parts. I like it.
Mike: This was a really large cast. The main character was Jesus. He was played by Scott Davis. He did a really good job. There were several solos that he had. Those came across really well. He also had a few songs where he came across with members of the chorus. He had a few duets. One with Judas, that was really well done as well.
Laura: The second main character in Godspell had two roles. John the Baptist and Judas was played by Matthew Heap. He did a really good job. He had a nice voice. It was interesting because everybody else had colorful costumes. Whereas he was in black and white and had a Yin and Yang necklace on, which contrasted very much his good versus evil characters. When he became Judas it was interesting to watch. At the beginning when he was John the Baptist he had his hair all slicked back. Then when he became Judas he put on a black leather jacket, I think he messed his hair up a little bit, and he took off his glasses. So that was an interesting change.
Mike: The entire cast did well with the singing. There were little vignettes that were told or parables that were told during the show. Some of them were sung, some of them were acted out. The singers all did pretty well, but some of the singers don’t have quite enough volume yet. Since the Encore Stage doesn’t have their own sound equipment. They are limited in how they can set up the sound equipment for their singers. One of the singers that did really well with the song, “Oh Bless the Lord, My Soul,” was Ivana Alexander. She did really well with her song. She just belted it out and did a great job with it.
Laura: The set was good. It was a simple set. It was one set that took place in an inner city lot. The main props were pieces of wood that they moved around to make tables and planks out of. So it was really good. I thought it was effective. The scenery didn’t detract from the message of Godspell.
Mike: One thing that I really liked was they did not restrict themselves to just using the stage. The actors came through the aisles including the final scene once Jesus had been crucified. They carried his body through the auditorium. That was very nicely done.
Laura: Godspell had mostly women in the cast. That’s something we’re starting to notice. when we see shows and talked with people in the past. They always seem to audition more women than men. Haven’t quite figured out why that is, but we’ll come up with more observations later. They don’t seem to have a problem casting women and they’re always desperately sending out emails asking for men to audition to shows.
Mike: Godspell is playing through July 30th. On Friday night at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 and 8 PM, and then Sunday at 2 PM at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.