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Fauquier Community Theatre Godspell

By • Oct 18th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Godspell by Stephen Shwartz
Fauquier Community Theatre
Fauquier Community Theatre, Warrenton, VA
Through October 30th
2:40 with one intermission
$17/$15 Seniors and Students
Reviewed October 14th, 2011

Godspell is a musical based around the Gospel of St. Matthew and highlighting some of the teachings of Jesus Christ which led to his betrayal by Judas Iscariot and subsequent crucifixion. Music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Godspell opened off-Broadway on May 17, 1971, and just last week entered previews for a revival.

Godspell opens FCT’s season of five productions. The energy was high, the enthusiasm was contagious, the emotions were real and ensemble casts’ personalities were a delight to witness. The most annoying negative of the production was several performers weren’t able to be heard over the orchestra. The orchestra was positioned upstage center behind a chain link fence.

The role of Jesus was played by Jacob Lash. Lash wore his emotions on his sleeve and made his character so real as he tried to instruct his followers for the short time he was with them. He brought out his anger with “Alas for You” in Act II as he tried to get them to see that fighting and anger were not the way. Lash’s tearful farewell as he waited for the guards to carry him off left many in the audience sniffling. It was a powerful performance by Lash. He also was able to project so that he could be heard above the band almost all the time.

Matt Enders played the dual role of John the Baptist and then Judas the Betrayer. Enders was a snappy dresser who as John welcomed his followers to repentance. When he turned to Judas there was almost a transformation. Instead of just turning angry and resentful, Enders truly seemed to struggle with what he was going to do. By sitting on the side of the stage away from the main action you saw him counting his 30 pieces of silver given to him by the priests. You saw anguish as he kissed the Jesus character one last time. Enders was believable in his role. The primary problem with Enders’ performance was his inability to project during his songs, with his voice simply disappearing in several songs.

The entire ensemble truly seemed to make their character their own, but have fun at the same time. They all seemed comfortable with each other and their voices blended into a pleasing sound despite the orchestra’s volume. One of the more haunting songs was ‘By My Side.’ Peggy (Jessi Belzer), Gilmer (Madeline Wheeler) and the later the company created a powerful melody that was very real and moving.

Director/Costume Designer Evelyn Rice’s vision of costumes was great. No two were like yet thy fit the character wearing them perfectly. The simple set of a construction site with sawhorses and a raised platform for the band made the downstage area the right size for the action on stage. The simple set was “defaced” during “Day by Day” as the cast scribbled on the bare walls with colorful chalk.

A delightful, fun, meaningful musical. Well worth the price of admission.

Photo Gallery

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Photos by Hilary Tupper

Cast

  • Jesus: Jacob Lash
  • Socrates/Basia: Heather Rice
  • Thomas Aquinas/Amber: Betsy Gupta
  • Martin Luther/Toby: Patrick Koehr
  • DaVinci/Peggy: Jessi Belzer
  • Gibbon/Herb: Marc White: Nietzsche/Jeffrey: Gavin Tomlin
  • Jean Paul Sartre/Squiggy: Carrie Parsons
  • Buckminster Fuller/Janet: Olivia Fresa
  • Lamar: Holly M. Czucha
  • Joanne Becca Harney
  • Robin: Hannah Sachs
  • Gilmer: Madeline Wheeler
  • Sonia: Kimberlee Wolfson
  • John the Baptist/Judas: Matt Enders

Orchestra

  • Keyboard: Brent Croushorn
  • Percussion: Jeff Briner
  • Bass: Growson Edwards
  • Electric Guitar: Sam Dubusc
  • Acoustic Guitar: Peter Fakoury
  • Organ/Keyboard: Laura Rivers

Production Staff

  • Director: Evelyn Rice
  • Producer: Eva Fresca
  • Music Director: Peter Fakoury
  • Choreographer: Alanna Mensing
  • Stage Manager: Mona Kay Helper
  • Set Design: Patrick Nye
  • Costume Design: Evelyn Rice
  • Assistant Costume Design: Jessi Belzer
  • Light Design: Tim Kirk
  • Sound Design: Anna Hawkins
  • Properties: Hilary Tupper
  • Set Dressing: Patrick Nye
  • Set Painting: Marianna Lash, Richard Mulder, Evelyn Rice
  • Set Construction: Patrick Nye
  • Hair Design: Teena Stevic
  • Make-Up Design: Jessi Belzer
  • Rehearsal Pianist: Matt Enders
  • Light Board Operator: Richard Perryman
  • Sound Board Operator: Anna Hawkins
  • Follow Spot Operator: Evelyn Rice
  • Poster/Post Cards: Sarah Weathers
  • Program Cover Design: Erin Weathers
  • Board Liaison: Tina Embree
  • FCT Wardrobe Mistress: Susan Noe
  • FCT Props Mistress: Hilary Tupper
  • Board Liaison: Tina Embree
  • Technical Director: Tim Kirk
  • Opening Night Reception: Bertucci’s. Laurie Bersack
  • Box Office Manager: Christie Clark
  • Marketing Manager: Christie Clark
  • Audition Pianists: Laurie Bersack, Meredith Schmahl

Disclaimer: Fauquier Community Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. FCT also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review.

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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.

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