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REVIEWS

Godspell, by Book by Michael Tebelak, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Fun in the Sun!
Saturday, July 14, 2001
5.0
Now you are probably wondering “Godspell? Fun? Sun?” Yes, it is set on a beach. Yes, the show
is ‘Godspell’. And yes, it is fun.
This show is fabulous! I laughed, I cried, I whooped, I loved it. There are three things
that really make this production wonderful. The first is the ensemble. These actors are all people who could carry the entire show alone if they really wanted to, but nobody stands out as a “star.” They have created a “community” of ten people. The second is the freshness. I have seen ‘Godspell’, I have done ‘Godspell’, and I have watched the movie plenty of times. This show is new. Thanks to Patrick Hutchison's inventive music direction, each song is cool and current and gutsy and they work. Each performer has their own strengths and this production shows them off perfectly. But third, the details are what really make it work. David Thomas' direction is phenomenal! There are so many wonderful specifics in character, lighting, set, dance, and song that you may not notice until later in the show, or later that night, or even the next day. It is just the little things that make this production so AWESOME!
The first act is when you get to meet all of the characters and find out what makes them a
community. At intermission one of my friends said “I am on such a natural high right now.” That
is the perfect way to describe the first act! It is so full of energy. The second act is also full of energy, but as we all know it slows down. But don’t get me wrong, this show doesn’t stop at any time. Even when it slows down it is still active and powerful. For those who don’t know, I won’t
give away any more about the story.
But are the performers really that good? I have seen and/or worked with all of these people before and each one is at their best. Wendy Bennett is sweet, cute, and always engaging.
Heidi Cline has power, glamour, and the ability to take a story and tell it! Rita Dolphin is
adorable and bombastic. Robert Egizio has energy, humor, and intensity. Neil Ghant has a
rubber face that he morphs into twenty different characters in the blink of an eye. Shawn Hale is
somehow both rowdy and bashful and you just want to pinch his cheeks. Jill Hames is a charmer
with her sexy, gaudy, dashing style. Pete Hauenstein can be cruel, kind, and heartbreaking all in one breath and he makes it look so easy. Valerie Payton has soul, wisdom, and a voice that makes you want to stand up and testify. Geoff Uterhardt as Jesus leads the other players with skill and might, but his kindness and accessibility proves why they follow him until the end. Now, they should all be applauded for just making these words from the Bible understandable and relavent -- and they do, but they also look GREAT in their beach clothes (some are in only one or two pieces here, people)! With all of these performers the show should be great, but then you add in the rockin’ band and the beautiful direction of both music and acting. The show looks beautiful and sounds wonderful.
You have got to get to Stone Mountain and see this show!

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