October 26, 2004 > Godspell
by Heidi Leun
The musical Godspell originated from a bad Easter Sunday experience by play-writer, John Michael Tebelak. Bored to tears by the Sunday sermon, he decided that the story of Christ should be told with enthusiasm and excitement.
When he first wrote the play, it debuted at a small Cafè in New York where a big producer happened to see it. They offered to take it to Broadway if Telebak got a new musical score. From there, a composer named Stephen Schwartz, who happened to be a former class-mate of Telebak's, was asked to compose the music for Godspell. The new and improved musical did go to Broadway eventually and won several awards.
Godspell is based on the book of St. Matthew in the Bible that documents the last seven days of Christ's life. The musical is performed with only ten actors in colorful "flower-child" costumes, with Jesus himself dressed like a clown. It features theatrical treats such as mime, dance, and slapstick comedy combined brilliantly to make even the least religious of audiences interested in the normally repetitive tale of one of the most controversial figures in history.
This hit Broadway musical will be presented at Newark Memorial High School on Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, & 20 at 8:00 pm. To order tickets, call: (510) 794-2099.