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Godspell

a Musical
CATEGORY :
by Book by Michael Tebelak, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

COMPANY : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 245

SHOWING : July 11, 2001 - August 12, 2001

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

One of the biggest Off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time, Godspell is an energetic and innovative musical version of the Gospel according to Matthew. See the parables come to life in a fun and immensely popular musical that shows the Gospel at work in modern times.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director David Thomas
Cast Wendy Bennett
Cast Heidi Cline
Cast Rita Dolphin
Cast Robert Egizio
Cast Neal A Ghant
Cast Shawn Hale
Cast Jill Hames
Cast Peter Hauenstein
Cast Valerie Payton
Cast Geoff Uterhardt
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Love, Exciting and New
by Mama Alma
Friday, August 3, 2001
5.0
Apparently, the AJC reviewer felt that the "Love Boat" reference in Godspell was hammy. All I know is, people laughed, and I made my husband laugh twice more on the way home by humming the Love Boat theme. It's a hoot!. Go see Godspell. Only one week left! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Go Jesus, Go Jesus!
by Mama Alma
Friday, July 20, 2001
5.0
This is not your father's Godspell! From the very first chord (an all-too-familiar computer sound) to allusions to hip hop, this new staging brings Godspell into the new millennium. Go see what all the fuss is about!

Geoff Uterhardt (Carousel; Alice in Wonderland; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!) as Jesus is a perfect fusion of old and new, evoking on the one hand the timelessness of the desert and on the other the wise cracking comic. You may think he looks too sweet to pull off playing the son of God, but wait until you catch his second act. He takes an abstract and makes it real in space and time, a difficult task for any actor, not to mention pulling it off amid the distractions of soft shoe, magic and juggling.

Heidi Cline – multi-talented, certainly (she did the costumes, too). This entire website isn't big enough to contain her bio. You may know her as a dramatic actress from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or A Streetcar Named Desire or as a character out of Shakespeare from one of her roles at the Festival. Or maybe you thought she was a director of musicals such as Sweeny Todd or The Fantasticks or I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! or comedies such as the laugh-yourself-silly Hay Fever. But Atlanta, this woman can SING. Plus, she looks great! I want the number of her personal trainer.

Shawn Hale, fresh from his stint as the sometimes murderous Mrs. White in Clue, the Musical, gets a chance to show off his wonderfully clear voice. Valerie Payton (Cotton Patch Gospel) will make you believe angels do walk among us, AND sing. Her voice blends beautifully with Wendy Bennett's sweet soprano in one song so haunting I don't think anyone in the theater breathed. Neil Ghant is a real crowd pleaser, somehow being Everyman and Superman and every character in between. He and Robert Egizio provide a lot of the energy for what is a very funny show. Robert's another one of those people who seem to do it all, sing, dance, direct, do comedy, look great in a bathing suit . . . oops, I digress.

Rita Dolphin (The Fantasticks, Sweeny Todd) has the agility of a gymnast, the comic timing of Lucille Ball, a voice I'd die for. And then there's Jill Hames (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) who has that wonderful ability to not just simply sing a song but "sell" it to the back seats. All the little girls want to be her, all the little boys want to date her, and I want to be a mogul so I can get her a recording contract.

And finally there's Pete Hauenstein. Where do you find the talent to portray both John, the cousin and precursor of Jesus, and Judas, his ultimate betrayer? Answer: you tap the guy who plumbed the madness in Hamlet's soul. I hear the Tavern is bringing Hamlet back next February, with Mr. Hauenstein reprising the title role, but while we're waiting, we can relish his wonderfully subtle performance as John/Judas drifts away from Jesus.

Each one of these people, individually, would be a reason to see this show, but the sound they make when they're together is truly amazing. Backed by the musical direction and piano of Patrick Hutchison (The Harvey Milk Show) and a sensational rhythm section, the music lifts you out of your seat. People stayed after to applaud the band. Kudos to Dave Thomas and his Art Station for getting these people together!

One word of caution (and this paragraph contains a
***SPOILER***,
so don't read it if you don't know or want to know how the story ends): youngsters love this musical – there's enough silliness and singing to keep them entertained, and Art Station is the kind of intimate space where it's a real joy to treat kids to live theater. But if you're lucky enough to have a member of the under-9 crowd with you, be prepared for some tough questions when the hero dies (I told you Geoff had a second act). You can tell them not to worry, because, in the end, "Long Live God!" Or, as they were chanting in the back row when I was there, "Go Jesus, Go Jesus!" [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Fun in the Sun!
by babscole
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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