It’s been a couple of weeks since went with my friends to see Godspell at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth and the songs are still running through my head. Even if you’ve never seen the film version from 1973, or one of the many productions and revivals that have graced the stage since it’s inception in 1971 you would definitely know one or two of the catchy musical numbers in this show.
Godspell was originally conceived by John-Michael Tebelak and his fellow students for a college project at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh before several successful Broadway and off-Broadway productions after re-scoring by Stephen Schwartz.
The original show opened off-Broadway on May 17, 1971 and consists of a series of parables from the Gospel of Matthew and Luke, interspersed with modern songs inspired by pop, gospel, vaudeville and more. And then the New Hampshire institution, the Seacoast Repertory Theatre presented its take on the show in September and it was amazing. The Rep is a professional non-profit theater that is committed to contributing to the cultural richness of the Seacoast, presenting musicals, classic plays as well as several off-beat series that showcase film and burlesque.
As I walked into the theatre to collect my tickets there was a first-night buzz in the air. I headed over to the small bar in the foyer to grab a quick pre-show drink whilst I enjoyed the colorful photographs from the current production that decorate the space.
The excitement from the lobby transferred into the theatre as the audience filed in, and the actors arrived on the stage. From a music perspective the show is in good form, with an excellent band headed by Craig Faulkner – who also directed the show and is Producing Artistic Director for the theatre. The cast consists of Rep regulars and a few newbies to that particular stage. With a strong cast of singers two particular stand-out vocal performances come from Ryan Alvarado and the director of the Rep’s Red Light Series, Knate Higgins.
It’s not long before the cast has the audience clapping along to the shows signature tune, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord and the hits don’t stop coming. A special mention must go to the mayonnaise obsessed Chris Bradley, whose comic timing and playfulness is exactly the reason I love live theatre.
For more information about The Seacoast Repertory Theatre you can visit their website. To purchase tickets for upcoming productions including The Wizard of Oz, you can email them at email@example.com or call them on 603-433-4472.
Thanks for the offer to attend the show, Seacoast Rep! I’ll definitely be back for another very soon.