BWW Review: GODSPELL at Landmark Community Theatre
On Saturday, April 21, I had the pleasure of seeing the opening performance of GODSPELL 2012, presented by the Landmark Community Theatre at the Thomaston Opera House, in Thomaston, CT. This rock musical was written by John Michael Trebelak with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, based on the Bible, particularly the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Under the excellent direction of Ed Bassett, this predominantly young cast radiates positive energy from the stage, clearly enjoying their multiple roles, and succeeding in sharing their excitement with the audience. The majority of the cast is on stage for most of the show, each playing multiple characters, including an interesting casting decision to have the role of Jesus shared by four cast members, all of whom wear white. Tight stage chemistry is shown by the entire cast who truly combine their talents well, as a cohesive group who succeed in the common goal of giving the audience a wonderful show.
The first act is a dramatization of many of the parables and teachings of Jesus, portrayed in a sometimes serious and other times comical, yet reverent manner. The second act involves the Pharisee attempts to trip up Jesus in His words, the Last Supper, the agony at the Garden of Gethsemane, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. The content of what is presented is generally true to the Scriptures, sometimes verbatim, and with the central message remaining the same when comical poetic license is added. The songs also remain faithful to sound theology. The artistic choice is made to place the Temptation in the Desert at the same time as the Agony in the Garden, perhaps to depict the spiritual warfare Jesus confronted and defeated in both situations.
Some stand-out musical performances include Bronwyn Hamill on "By My Side," Martha Irving on "Day by Day," Aric Martin on "We Beseech Thee," and the combined efforts of Robert Melendez, Tessa Coleman, and Dr. Daniel Fedrick on the "Learn Your Lessons Well" reprise.
Nicholaus Komons, Aric Martin, and Tessa Coleman were stand-outs in their various acting roles, really going the extra mile to maximize their characters.
I highly recommend GODSPELL, which is scheduled to continue to run on April 27, 28, May 4, and May 5 at 8:00 PM, while also running on April 29 and May 6 at 2:00 P.M. at the Thomaston Opera House, the show presented by the Landmark Community Theatre. For tickets, please go to http://www.landmarkcommunitytheatre.org/.