Godspell – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If your parables need polishing and your morals need motivation and your acts as a good samaritan need stimulation, then the Ivoryton Playhouse has just the musical to get you moving: ”Godspell.” With book by John-Michael Tebelak and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, this exuberant show is perpetual motion with this talented cast of ten (a minyan, but who is counting).

Until Sunday, June 16, this lively troupe performs a series of skits, sketches and songs that are wrapped in a cloak of the gospel of St. Matthew, all the while dancing and cavorting with joy. Like a rock concert and revival meeting combined, these ten performers take the audience along as they provide lessons on how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and how to guarantee you never get to the Pearly Gates. A dynamic Jesus, captured by Sam Sherwood, is amazing as the humble son of God who has much to teach and only a short time to make his message heard.

To Jesus, “the message is one of peace and love. Religion is only the platform from which the gospel of truth and love is heard.” Helping Jesus spread his message are Jerica Exum, Kedrick Faulk, Sam Given, Kaileah Hankerson, Morgan Morse, Gabriella Saramago, Lilly Tobin, Josh Walker and Carson Higgins as John the Baptist and Judas. This almost 50 year old show is still meaningful, showing how to learn to live together. Come and be uplifted in a contemporary style.

Under the able leadership of director Jacqueline Hubbard, the troupe forms a community that performs “like a freight train” to light up the world and prepare the way for the Lord, with special thanks to Todd Underwood’s energetic choreography, Martin Scott Marchitto’s set design and Michael Morris’ enthusiastic musical direction. The glorious words of “Day By Day” that pray for one to see and love and follow God was the high point of the show. For tickets ($55, seniors $50, students $25 and children $20), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or go online to www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m. with two special Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. June 1 and June 15.

If you enjoyed Sam Given in “Godspell,” come back on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. for an evening with Millie Grams, “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” where parodies of songs
stylists of the 1960’s will be woven into her own unique life story. Tickets are $25, students $20.

The spirit will definitely move you as you rejoice in the words and the deeds that are sprinkled like seeds in a fertile field, for you to gather and enjoy.