News Column

Same 'Godspell,' more modern

November 15, 2013

YellowBrix

Nov. 15--ST. LOUIS -- The latest national production of "Godspell" gives the classic musical a modern feel.

"It's very hip, current, has a sense of clowning to it and freedom," director David Hogan said.

"Godspell" the musical, with the music of Stephen Schwartz, is about the basic teachings of Jesus Christ, based on the gospel according to Matthew and some from Luke; yet the production opening tonight at The Peabody Opera House in Downtown St. Louis is set in the present.

He described the latest production as full of color and very current.

The music is the same Schwartz, but with updated rock 'n' roll arrangements, inspired by the latest Broadway production. Schwartz scored a Top-10 hit with the musical's "Day by Day" in 1972; later he added "Pippin" and "Wicked" to his list of hit musicals.

"Even though we do the passion of Christ at the end of the show, it's about Jesus' parables, as a loving human being, and how he taught people to love each other, and to lead human kind through love," he said. "It's about love, the force of love."

The cast is made up primarily of young actors in their 20s who add to the freshness of the national touring production of "Godspell."

"It comes together in a way as sketch comedy, I call it," he said. "You sit in the audience get lost by their energy and lost by their talent. I know people say, 'My church did it,' but it's worth the investment of time to see it professionally done by crafted singers and actors. Anyone who sees it will just be charmed by it."

"Godspell" runs through Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or at www.ticketmaster.com.

jmoon@thetelegraph.com

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(c)2013 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)

Visit The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) at www.thetelegraph.com

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