Godspell Book by John-Michael Tebelak
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Directed by Wade Hair
Starring Joseph Sikkema and Lucas Coura
Winter Park, FL</strong>
They forgot to include St. Matthew on the credits, but I guess if you’re singing the Word of God that somehow falls under Public Domain. Two big musicals on this topic appeared in 1970: the gritty and humanist “Jesus Christ, Super Star” and this more happy-go-lucky hippy-dippy project. You’ve got the always enigmatic Jesus, here played by the clean cut and likeable Joseph Sikkema, and the Ché Guvara-looking Judas Iscariot (Coura). Backing them up are a flock of assorted disciples, both male and female. While the story roughly follows the three years’ ministry of Jesus, the focus of the show aims at his many parables, aphorisms and bits of advice about living a good and holy life. And just because people get confused; He mostly advised people to treat people as you would be treated, and not showing off your faith like it’s a 12 point buck you clocked with your pickup truck.
I slipped in a bit late, just in time to catch the wonderful “O Bless the Lord” belted out by Christina Noel. That was followed by a tin pan alley flavored “All for the Best” and Chad Cartledge’s rich vibrato filling the space with “All Good Gifts.” While Jesus sang superbly in “Beautiful City” he never seems terribly miraculous, and even Judas seemed broken up about having to rat out the J-man. Longtime Breakthrough favorite Angela Cotto did some excellent animal impersonations, and my favorite line tonight came from Judas: “SOMEONE has to be oppressed.” Another noteworthy performances came from Tommy Schwanfelder with his raccoon tail hat. This is a bouncy, family friendly show with great music, a very traditional message, and the most colorful clothing you’ve seen since Woodstock. Note there are two casts; this was the adult one but you might run into the children’s cast. Be blessed, this cast certainly is.
For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Breakthrough-Theatre-of-Winter-Park/