Review: 'Godspell' at Purcell Marian brings Jesus' message to modern era

Life is full of choices. A single choice can determine the rest of a life. Even if we make the right decision, there is no guarantee that things will continue to be pleasant. This principle held true for the disciples when they were mocked, persecuted and most of them executed because they made the decision to follow Christ. Before His death and their persecution, Jesus poured much wisdom into them about the Kingdom of Heaven and the path to eternal life. Purcell Marian High School’s production of "Godspell"  was a whimsical, eye-catching and memorable story of Jesus’ wisdom and love shown to the disciples.

"Godspell"  was originally a book written by John-Michael Tebelak. The musical, written by Stephen Schwartz, has gotten the attention of many directors and has been performed by lots of casts including Carnegie Mellon University. There have also been many revivals such as the Broadway revival in 2012. It mainly exhibits the parables told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The overall show captures the essence and purpose behind Jesus’ ministry. Purcell Marian did a great job of conveying those parables in a believable and meaningful way.

This production brought the excitement of "Godspell" into the audience and gave them an up close and personal experience. This kept everyone engaged and desirous to see what will happen next. The entire cast, as an ensemble, fed off one another’s energy. It was evident they were trying to exhibit a very powerful and clear-cut message in a fun and whimsical fashion.

Cian Steele played Jesus, and his riveting passion for this role left a personal effect on everyone. His honesty and talented singing voice was powerful enough to capture the hearts of many. Just as Jesus showed love, compassion and concern for his closest friends, Steele’s facial expressions and eye contact with each cast member made it very evident that he truly became this role. The fun he displayed on stage transferred to the audience.

Tyler Hausfeld played John the Baptist and Judas. His ability to switch from one character to a completely different one made him a very loveable actor. Cassidy Steele played Cassidy the Disciple, and her outgoing acting and solos made her standout from the rest of the ensemble. The boldness she displayed contributed greatly to the overall production. Jacob Lucas as the Jacob the Disciple made the parables more enjoyable and memorable with his quirky body language and facial expressions. His powerful yet warming vocals were definitely a crowd favorite.

Some technical aspects that really stood out were the costumes, sets and props. The decision to make the disciples come from his or her own time period and have their own style was very thoughtful. It portrayed how Jesus didn’t come for one race, culture or group of people. He came to save everyone because we are all loved and part of God’s Creation. Nobody is more special than anyone else in His eyes, which was portrayed very nicely in the costumes. The set and props fit right into the production and only added to its success.

Purcell Marian’s  production of "Godspell"  uniquely conveyed the message of the Gospel in a relevant and understandable way. It kept one wanting more and left one with a message to choose love and acceptance.

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