Godspell at Presbyterian College’s Edmunds Hall is certainly a must see for any Presbyterian Student. I will base this review on several criteria: acting, singing, set/costuming, choreography, and an overall appearance of the show. But first a little bit about the story of Godspell.
Godspell is a musical by Steven Schwartz that opened in New York Off Broadway in 1971. The storyline revolves around the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Luke. Godspell is in the style of several musicals around that period Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy by being a Rock Musical. The musical’s signature song is Day by Day which charted #13 in 1971 on the Bilboard charts. The show has a fairly open script so most of their cast goes by their first name as their character, the only exceptions being Jesus, and Judas.
As far as the acting goes in the show I found it to be at par with Town Theatre in Columbia, SC. The actors definitely display a lot of passion throughout the production into their rolls. By the play using the actors real names for the characters it lets the actors develop a persona that relates to the era in which the show is supposed to take place. TI found Luke Schneider to be the most impressive actor. Luke played a 1971 hippie perfectly, and he also looked the part (more on that later).
The singing by the cast of the show was nothing short of spectacular. It is on par with several Broadway productions I have seen. Each actor has an amazing voice in their own right. Hannah Taylor, one of the performers, has an exceptionally lovely voice and as I told her last night she should play Christine from the Phantom of the Opera next, because there is no doubt in my mind her voice can carry those notes. The music department has always done a wonderful job with singing and this is definitely a great example of what they can do.
Going into the show, I was a little bit worried about how they would make the venue work for the production because Edmunds Hall lacks backstage wings. But, I was pleasantly surprised at how they managed to make that venue work. The set itself portrays a recreation room at PC in the 1970s that would have been Douglas House. I thought it was a simple set but very effective for what it had to portray. The costumes were fantastic looking for all of the actors. Each costume appeared to be from the 1970s which helped the validity of the show. Again, Luke Schneider had a very impressive look. It was a cross between Shaggy (Scooby Doo) and Keith Partridge (The Partridge Family) and I was very impressed by that.
Mr. Parker, the choreographer, did an amazing job with the choreography. The cast started the choreography at the beginning of the semester exactly twenty five days before opening night. That alone is quite the accomplishment. I thought the cast did a great job in keeping exactly with the choreography. The dancing definitely went along with the music.
Overall, I was very impressed with the production of Godspell and would definitely recommend it to anyone. Call your girlfriend or boyfriend up (hopefuls included) and go enjoy a night at the theatre. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight (the 31st) and Saturday (February 1st) and February 2nd at three. I recommend making it a dinner and a show. You are in for a treat.
About the author: Jonathan Hinely has been to over 20 Broadway and Off Broadway Productions, and has worked in the theatre all throughout High School. His roles include Josh in Zombie Prom, Prince Mo in Aladin, among several others. He has also been involved in show photography for the last three years.