Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Godspell’ a heavenly triumph

By
From page B6 | April 04, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Sunday School was never quite like this.

Missouri Street Theatre’s current triumphant production of “Godspell” tells the story of Jesus Christ, specifically his teachings using parables, then his crucifixion and resurrection.

Instead of storytelling flannelgraphs on easels and memory verses, however, they use rock and roll coupled with humorous and poignant performances from a ridiculously talented cast.

The show opened off-Broadway in 1971 and was kick-started a couple of years ago with a revival. The new orchestrations are more contemporary and just give the whole show more bite, punch and oomph.

The thing that really came across on opening night was just how completely “on” the entire cast was. The synergistic energy they emitted was heightened by the fact that the audience was enraptured and we knew that they knew they were killin’ it. The entire show was electric and insanely great.

The cast was obviously well-prepared and their considerable talents had been sharpened to a razor point by director Scott Woodard. The choreography by Staci Arriaga was crisp, fierce, playful and perfect. The singing was, well, heavenly.

The story was told using minimal sets (designed by Woodard), colorful costumes (Gina Coyle) and lots of panache and personality from the cast.  The parables include Lazarus and the Rich Man, The Prodigal Son and The Good Samaritan. Numerous methods were used to convey the stories, most of them absolutely hysterical and yet true to the text in the bible.

The cast consists of 13 very talented performers, about half of whom I have seen and enjoyed in local productions and the rest I hope to see in many more. In addition to their individual gifts, as a unit they exuded the camaraderie that “Godspell” demands.

Michael Scott Wells as Jesus cut a commanding empathetic and magnetic presence on the Downtown Theatre stage. I had the opportunity to see him work his magic at the Red Carpet Gala a few weeks ago and bringing such a tricky role to life in such an engaging way was a treat to behold.

Anthony Lucido as Judas exploded onto local stages with Fairfield Civic Theatre’s “Lend Me a Tenor” last year and his acting/singing ability matched with the acrobatic physicality he possesses makes me wonder if there is anything he can’t do. He even drew headshots of the entire cast for the program.

I continue to be the unofficial President of the Miranda Lawson Fan Club. She blew the doors off singing “Bless the Lord” and her timing and comic sensibilities are impeccable.

Courtney McAllister nailed the soulful “Learn Your Lessons.”

Danielle DeBow Severns lent her angelic voice to the most well-known “Godspell” song “Day By Day.”

Ethan Bell had me dying as the Jester in “Once Upon a Mattress” last December and was brilliant in this show performing one of my favorite songs “We Beseech Thee.”

Both the constraints of space and also not wanting to spoil the fun for other theatergoers prevent me from listing highlights from all of the cast members. However they (Kirk Bakken, Erik Catalan, Christina Gross, Robin Murray, Kirstin Pieschke, Christina Rae and Hilary Wells) each shone individually and were divine collectively.

The band, featuring Maggie Hollinbeck (musical director and keyboardist), Michael LaPlante (lead guitarist), Abe Newman (second guitarist), Colin McCuen (bassist), and Oliver Graham (drummer), was versatile, super-tight and rocked the house.

After the intermission, Hollinbeck and Lawson performed a soul-drenched duet of “Learn Your Lessons Well (reprise)” that had jaws dropping all over the theater. At the song’s conclusion, they high-fived as we applauded wildly.

“Godspell” is a beautifully compelling show that will entertain and touch the most evangelical of Christians, the staunchest of atheists and everyone in between.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

Missouri Street Theatre presents “Godspell”

  • 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 11-12
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12
  • 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13
  • Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, 1035 Texas St.
  • 940-0700
  • www.downtowntheatre.com

four stars out of four

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • S KApril 04, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Many many years ago in a galaxy far far away>>LOL>>"Val Players, " I think they were called, up in Vacaville put on, "Godspell," I was the drummer for a great bunch of musicians in the band. That was a real satisfying experience, and I still have the program here somewhere :-). Now anyone need a drummer>>LOL>>Prefer a Jazz combo, but rock is cool :-). By the way, for, "Godspell," I actually had to once again read the drum charts, since it was important that all the musicians were on the same page for that. I hadn't had to do that since my School bands, ROTC Band, Marching band, Concert Band, and Naval Recruit Drum & Bugle Corp, etc :-). I wish there were a, "Blue Devils, "drum & bugle type corp for us AGING musicians>>LOL.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 4 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7