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Lew-Port Drama Club to present 'Godspell'

by jmaloni
Fri, Dec 3rd 2010 03:00 pm
The Lewiston-Porter High School Drama Club will present John-Michael Tebelak's and Stephen Schwartz's musical "Godspell" on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10 and 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 4061 Creek Road, Youngstown.

Directed by Frank Scelsa, with musical direction by Tony Kunz, music by Ken Nyland, Adam Siedlecki and John Stodolka, and choreography by Courtney Corbetta, Marina Laurendi and Courtney Costanzo, the Lewiston-Porter production is set in the Depression era of the 1930s with appropriate set and costumes. The "Godspell" cast includes Derek Tucker as Jesus, Madie Yanofsky as John the Baptist/Judas, Devin Conde as Peggy, Courtney Corbetta as Gilmer, Jacey Diez as Lamar, Rebecca Hale as Robin, Kelsey Jeffs as Joanne, Marina Laurendi as Sonia, Brodie McPherson as Jeffrey, and Jack Wall as Herb.

"Godspell" is based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew and is the musical embodiment of the parables of Jesus. The score includes such favorites as "Day By Day," "God Save The People," "On The Willows," "Bless The Lord My Soul" and "We Beseech Thee," among others.

Written in 1970 by Tebelak as his master's project at Carnegie Mellon University under the direction of Lawrence Carra, the playwright based the score's lyrics on the Episcopal Hymnal with new music added by cast members. Tebelak then took the show to New York, where it opened at the LaMama Experimental Theatre Club in Greenwich Village in February of 1971.

In August 1971, "Godspell" moved to the Off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre and later to the larger Promenade Theatre where it remained until 1976, becoming one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals. In June of that year, the show moved to Broadway where it continued until September of 1977. The combined Off-Broadway and Broadway performances totaled more than 2,600.

"Godspell" has been in almost continuous production since its inception.

In 1973, a film version was released starring Victor Garber and David Haskell. Numerous professional presentations have been staged around the world since the play was written. In 2009, producer Ken Davenport announced that he would revive the show on Broadway for the 2010-2011 season, pending necessary funding. In addition, "Godspell" has become a perennial favorite among school, church and little theatre groups throughout the country.

Tickets for the Lewiston-Porter production are $6 pre-sale and $7 at the door. Pre-sale tickets are available in the high school lobby from Dec. 6-10. A special $5 rate is applicable for groups of 10 or more. Call 754-8281, ext. 2225, for group orders.

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