December 7, 2011

Born Again on Broadway

Godspell is back on Broadway. The Circle in the Square Theatre is its perfect home, because it makes you feel like you're in a very hip church that allows audience participation. The actors even sit next to them from time to time. The performers frenetically jump in and out of the aisles, and the musicians are embedded in the audience.
The iconic songs that are based on the parables of Jesus---mostly from the Gospel of Matthew---are sung beautifully by its multi-talented cast. This is clearly the Godspell of 2011, as droll jokes, pop culture and current events zingers fly. They even refer to Stephen Schwartz's monster hit, Wicked, their upstairs neighbor. I want to know how much improv is actually going on, as the cast members seem to be having the time of their lives. It is a very lively performance.
The costumes are unique and colorful. If you're looking for a high energy, family friendly show, this is it. Will you fall under its spell?
Celisse Henderson, who can play 3 different musical instruments. And belt, of course.

Lindsay Mendez, whose performance reminded me of Karen Olivo.
Corey Mach, our Judas during the preview performance we saw. I'm always fascinated with the Judases of musicals, because how do you play one of the most hated men in history?
Hunter Parrish as a charismatic Jesus.
Jesus' death is always deeply moving in any movie or musical.
Anna Maria Perez de Tagle who has a gorgeous voice.
hilarious George Salazar.
triple threat Telly Leung
Uzo Aduba with a strong and resonant voice. Look out, Darrell Hammond! She can out-Donald Trump you.

I love this shot of a working actress and a young theatergoer. One day, she might be an actress herself.

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