Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘Godspell’ is a holy good time

Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘Godspell’ is a holy good time

The residence was packed on Sunday when I lastly manufactured it to see Sandy Spring

The residence was packed on Sunday when I lastly manufactured it to see Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s production of Godspell. As I slid into one of the couple remaining seats in the back again row, a minor female following to me — decked out in a glittery social gathering gown — squealed in anticipation. The lights dimmed and the present commenced. The viewers was one of the most enthusiastic I have ever noticed at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn and I wondered why.

The forged of Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘Godspell.’ Image courtesy of the Kentlands Arts Barn.

Perhaps it was the rating. Stephen Schwartz’s songs for Godspell was groundbreaking when it strike the scene in 1971, turning into one of the handful of Broadway musicals to split through to a broader, mainstream audience. Fifty a long time later, that score nonetheless conjures up. Beloved music like “Day by Working day,” “Light of the World,” “On the Willows,” and many others comprise a single of the most singable scores in theater record.

Or perhaps the group was energized since phrase experienced gotten out that this output, helmed by Director Robert Leembruggen, has adequate heart and soul to warm the cockles of heathens and cynics. With colourful homespun costumes, earnest performances, and ensemble-enriching choreography (by Stephanie Wesley), this is the small output that could. It’s also 1 of the very best group theater displays I have seen so much this yr.

The ensemble forged warrants uniform praise for their dedication to the materials. Godspell is definitely an ensemble clearly show, and this cast genuinely appeared to be obtaining fun and functioning as a workforce. There is no real plot to Godspell, or if there is, it is a incredibly loose plot. Centered on the Gospel In accordance to St. Matthew, Godspell is generally Jesus sharing a collection of Biblical parables with his followers in involving entertaining music. All the biggest hits of the New Testomony are there: Switch the other cheek, really like your enemy, the meek shall inherit. They are tales that most of us are acquainted with, stripped of their Biblical righteousness and told with a folksy candor reminiscent of the 1970s era in which the clearly show was prepared.

As Jesus, Joe Waeyaert carries a whole lot of the weight of the exhibit. His Jesus is tender and welcoming. His vocals are extra than adequate on solos like “Save the People” and “Alas for You.” He lends gravitas to the show’s emotional finale. I do feel there is area for Waeyaert to express much more charisma, and I would appreciate to see him impart far more energy to the purpose. He is Jesus, right after all. No one particular can complain if he requires a lot more than his share of the spotlight.

In the twin roles of John the Baptist and Judas, Zack Walsh starts the display off potent with a resounding solo sung from the back of the auditorium: “Prepare Ye (the Way of the Lord).” He exudes tenderness in “On the Willows” (along with soloists Alex Greenberg and Stephanie Wesley). Walsh and Waeyaert workforce up for an extremely pleasurable “All for the Most effective,” a vaudeville-like number that includes rapid-sung dueling melodies.

Joe Waeyaert as Jesus and Zack Walsh as Judas in Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s ‘Godspell.’ Picture courtesy of the Kentlands Arts Barn.

The rest of the ensemble cast each and every receives a switch in the spotlight. Standouts incorporate Tracy Davidson’s straightforward significant take note in “O, Bless the Lord, My Soul,” Gifty Amponsem’s jazzy contributions to “Light of the Globe,” and Alex Greenberg’s sultry rendition of “Turn Again, O Guy.” Other tunes showcased solos by Jill Goodrich (“Day by Day”), David Robinson and Kellie Santos-DeJesus (“All Superior Gifts”), and Douglas Richesson (“We Beseech Thee”).

The score is played by a stay band (hooray for a live band!) that performs onstage guiding a monitor lending a rock come to feel and an excess sense of pizzazz to the output. Arielle Bayer conducted and performed piano and was joined by Meagan Body on bass, Kevin Uleck on percussion, and Chip Carvel on guitar.

The set is straightforward nevertheless useful. Sq. bins are blended into the choreography of numerous tracks enabling the actors to shift them all around into different configurations that give the phase an energetic feel with no appearing crowded. Two ladders onstage incorporate a vertical component to the staging and double as a jail cell during a person of Jesus’s parables.

Easter is around the corner, and DC theaters are plainly embracing the spirit of the time. The 50th-anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar is now participating in at the Kennedy Center, Olney Theatre is generating the environment premiere of A.D. 16, a musical about teenage Jesus and Mary Magdalen that is off-the-charts fantastic. A tip of the hat to Sandy Spring Theatre Team for completing this holy trinity with its stellar output of Godspell.

Jogging Time: 90 minutes as well as a 15-minute intermission.

Sandy Spring Theatre Group’s Godspell performs weekends as a result of March 20, 2022, at the Kentlands Arts Barn – 311 Kent Square Highway, in Gaithersburg, MD. For tickets ($20–$24), connect with (301) 258-6394 or go on the web.

COVID Security: Proof of vaccination and masks are needed to show up at indoor performances at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.

Cast
Jesus: Joe Waeyaert
John the Baptist/Judas: Zack Walsh (For more Zack Walsh antics, test out Zack’s The Brady Bros podcast)
Doug: Douglas Richesson
Tracy: Tracy Davidson
Alex: Alex Greenberg
David: David Robinson
Gifty: Gifty Amponsem
Jill: Jill Goodrich
Stephanie: Stephanie Wesley
Kellie: Kellie Santos-DeJesus
Trish: Trish Pisarra

Inventive and Generation Crew
Producer: Meredith Fogle
Director: Robert Leembruggen
Assistant Director, Choreographer: Stephanie Wesley
Phase Supervisor: Dianne Koval
Complex Director: Jerry Callistein
Scenic Artist: Lily Pacuit
Graphics Structure: Alex Greenberg
Costumes: Hilary Glass Leyendecker
Attributes, Set Dressing, Make-up: Sarah Leembruggen
Lighting Designer: Steve Deming

Orchestra
Conductor/Piano: Arielle Bayer
Bass: Meagan Frame
Percussion: Kevin Uleck
Guitar: Chip Carvel