THE CAST OF "GODSPELL"
If your parables need polishing and your morals need motivation and your acts as a good samaritan need stimulation, then the Westport Community Theatre has just the musical to get you moving: ”Godspell.” With book by John-Michael Tebelak and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, this exuberant show is perpetual motion with this community cast who range in age from fifteen to about sixty, with the majority being twenty-somethings.
Until Sunday, June 26, this lively troupe performs a series of skits, sketches and songs that are wrapped in a cloak of the gospel of St. Matthew, all the while dancing and cavorting with joy. Like a rock concert and revival meeting combined, these eleven performers take the audience along as they provide lessons on how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and how to guarantee you never get to the Pearly Gates. A dynamic Jesus, captured by Tyler Campbell, who stepped into the role with only a week and a half of preparation, is amazing as the humble son of God who has much to teach and only a short time to make his message heard.
To Tyler, “the message is one of peace and love. Religion is only the platform from which the gospel of truth and love is heard. When the director Maggie Pangrazio called me and told me I needed to take the role (of Jesus), I trusted her that she had trust in me. I realized there is a weird balance to the part. It’s a high energy role, like a clown. But you can’t play Jesus too goofy because the second act isn’t impactful enough, but you can’t play him too stern because of the contents of the first act.” Tyler manages the balance quite well, especially with the help of Juan Ayala, Emily Beers, Jessica Braun, Caitlin Brown, Betzabeth Castro, Rosalind Cormier, Dena Lagonigro, Katherine Logan, Rob Pawlikowski and Bill Warncke as Judas.
Under the able leadership of director Maggie Pangrazio, the troupe forms a community that performs "like a freight train” to light up the world and prepare the way for the Lord. The glorious words of “Day By Day” that pray for one to see and love and follow God was the high point of the show. For tickets ($28, seniors and students $26), call the Westport Community Theatre, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport at 203-226-1983 or go online to www.westportcommunitytheatre.com. Performances are Thursdays, June 9 and 16 at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
The spirit will definitely move you as you rejoice in the words and the deeds that are sprinkled like seeds in a fertile field, for you to gather and enjoy.