The 12 – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

An extraordinary story, a moment in time, about a dozen ordinary people trapped in a monumental decision of crisis proportions, has been immortalized in a new musical at Goodspeed Musicals: “The 12.” Their beloved leader and teacher Jesus has been betrayed and put to death and now they are hiding in an abandoned factory, huddling in the dark, with troubled souls, trying to decide what path to take, what plan to follow.

No matter what religion you may or may not believe, “The 12” with book and lyrics by Robert Schenkkan and music and lyrics by Neil Berg will capture your imagination at that particular time and place, defining the world and the future. This very human story will grace the Goodspeed stage until Sunday, October 29, with direction and scenic design by John Doyle.

These dozen disciples, mostly humble fishermen, are angry, terrified and confused. Upon their shoulders rests the future of Jesus’s preachings: his messages of kindness and love. They are prepared to die for their beliefs and, if they live, are ready to travel to the ends of the earth: to Greece, India, Spain, Jerusalem, Israel, Italy, the Middle East, Africa, Syria, Samaria, Libya, Armenia and China, to insure Jesus’s words become universal.

Come witness Wonza Johnson (Andrew), Rob Morrison (Bart), Kelvin Moon Loh (James), Etai Benson (Jimmy), Kyle Scatliffe (John), F. Michael Haynie (Matt), Akron Lanier Watson (Pete). Brandon J. Ellis (Phil). Gregory Treco (Simon), Mel Johnson Jr. (Tee), Wesley Taylor (Tom) and two significant women in Jesus’s life Adrienne Walker (Mags) and Rema Webb (Mother Mary). Moving music like “Anyone But Me,” “Rise Up,” “Do You Remember?,”
”Rain,” “Ordinary,” and “Our Love” capture the tension of the time, and their need to praise glory and take a stand, their mixture of fear and love and their desire for a new life.

For tickets ($38-84), call Goodspeed Musicals, 6 Main Street, on the Connecticut River in East Haddam at 860-873-8668 or online Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. In honor of Goodspeed’s 60th anniversary, a donation of $60 would be most welcome.

Come learn how Jesus strived to greet the stranger, to encourage loving one another, fixing what is broken and performing miracles. His story is still being written.