Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Zoon Vader Godspell

By • Feb 8th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Zoon Vader’s production of Godspell [MP3 5:24 2.5MB].

Zoon Vader
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington DC
$23/$21 Seniors and Children
Through Feb. 17th

Laura: This is the review of Godspell, performed by Zoon Vader in Washington D.C. Mike and I saw the performance on opening night, Thursday February 7, 2008.

Mike: This production of Godspell was OK. It didn’t get me as excited as some productions have.

Laura: The cast did a pretty good job. They were into it and had a lot of energy and liveliness. I, too felt that there was something missing. It wasn’t a bad show, it wasn’t a stand out show. It was an OK show.

Mike: Godspell was conceived by John-Michael Tebelak, with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. This musical is a joyous retelling of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew.

Laura: The role of John the Baptist/Judas was played by Michael Reid. I especially liked Reid’s opening song “Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord.” I enjoyed that song and I thought he did a good job with it. He had a good, strong, powerful voice that carried well in the auditorium. I did have a problem with the Judas role that Reid played. The way it was portrayed it was almost like Judas did not have a choice and I’m not sure if that was the case. I realize there are lots of interpretations, but that didn’t it well with me.

Mike: I think you’re talking about the very end scene when he had come back on stage and then tried to leave when he saw Jesus and kept running into that invisible pantomime wall. Jesus kind of waved his hands and eventually Judas came back to him. That was a strange little scene right there of trying to get away, but running into the wall.

Jesus was played by Christopher Thorn. He had a nice voice for the part. He did have a lot of fun with the different characters and telling the different stories and putting them in their places at times.

Laura: The rest of the cast I thought did well. They were very enthusiastic and very much into their parts. As far as the singing went some had a wider range than others, but for the most part they blended together pretty well.

Mike: One song that got a strong reaction from the audience was ‘Turn Back, O Man’ in the second act. It was sung by Sonia, played by Samantha Gaies. She was going up and down the aisles interacting with the different men in the audience. She must have had a fair number of friends in the audience because some of them were howling. It was a very good song and very nicely done.

Laura: Overall the sound was good. There were a few times when Christopher’s mic was not turned up enough and the blending was not quite right. At the end of the first act when he was telling everybody to go out and get refreshments for intermission, it took a few sentences before I could hear him telling people it was time for intermission. Overall it was OK, there were just some minor glitches.

Mike: The set was designed by the show’s director, Frank Pasqualino. There were a few brick walls and parts of playground equipment and some ramps as well as a fence stretching along the back wall. That felt a little odd because when you’re walking into the Atlas Theatre, you’re in downtown Washington D.C. and you’re seeing the squalor of the area and what a city looks like. The set was a clean urban city. That didn’t feel right. It needed graffiti or newspapers on the ground or tin cans or something. Somehow the set seemed too pristine.

It also would have been cool if at the end during ‘Beautiful City’ the characters could have cleaned up the stage and maybe taken away some of the prop pieces that were not used during the show. It was just a thought. The actors did come out into the audience to kind of reintegrate themselves back into the world as Jesus was telling them to do.

Laura: Another thing I noticed was that during one of the songs sung by Jeffery, played by Nathan Tatro, was that during the song ‘We Beseech Thee’ he was walking along the first row of the audience, which was fine, breaking that fourth wall was no problem. However the lights on him weren’t consistent, so he was walking into shadows as he crossed the stage.

Mike: Godspell ran two hours and ten minutes with one intermission. It is playing through February 17, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington D.C.

Laura: If you’ve seen this show feel free to leave a comment on our website at We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater happenings in the D.C. Metro Region.

Mike: Zoon Vader is a new community theater group just formed in D.C. Their next production is The Fantastiks, scheduled for October 2008 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. And now, on with the show.


  • Joanne: Heather Cipu
  • Gilmer: Rebecca Poyatt
  • Jeffery: Nathan Tatro
  • Robin: Jennifer Reitz
  • Herb: Larry Grey
  • Sonia: Samantha Gaies
  • Peggy: Donna Pasqualino
  • Lamar: MarQuis Fair
  • John the Baptist/Judas: Michael Reid
  • Jesus: Christopher Thorn


  • Producer: Samantha Gaies
  • Director: Frank Pasqualino
  • Music Director: Amy Conley
  • Choreographer: Rebecca Poyatt
  • Stage Manager: Christine Farrell
  • Assistant Stage Manager/Lighting Crew: Maureen Roult
  • Lighting Designer: Keller Lindler
  • Costume Designer: Heather Cipu
  • Costumer: Jenna Jones
  • Properties: Pamela Casey
  • Set Designer: Frank Pasqualino
  • Master Carpenter: Jeff Nesmeyer
  • Set Crew/Lighting Crew: Ray Caron
  • Lighting Crew: Paul Morton
  • Lighting Crew: Rachel Morrissey
  • Lighting Crew: Kristin Williams
  • Publicity/Program: Elizabeth Couchman
  • Advertising: Diane Nesmeyer
  • Graphic Design: Jennifer Reitz
  • Video Design: Frank Pasqualino


  • Amy Conley: Piano/Keyboard
  • Jeff O’Conner: Guitar/Mandolin
  • Jason Wilson: Bass
  • Tori Fulkerson: Bass
  • Robert Gertsen: Percussion
  • Jim Hoffman: Percussion
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