Friday, January 14, 2011

Godspell, My Daughter the Harlot

I'm going to shamelessly promote a musical that my youngest daughter is in this weekend at her local high school. Last night was opening night and it was most impressive, in spite of all the negative remarks that I've ignored over the past four months of rehearsals.

Our local newspaper gave the following brief synopsis of the play:
"The performance of Godspell, an adaptation of the 1970 rock musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak involves a series of parables based on the New Testament gospels with a variety of modern musical adaptations of traditional hymns."

"The joint production runs from Thursday, January 13th to Saturday, January 15th at the local downtown high school auditorium starting at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and are available at the door, as well as the schools' front offices."

In makeup

The set that I helped to construct (sorry it's so dark)

The little tart herself


Close up
Fourteen very talented and energetic young folks took to the stage on Thursday night for their opening performance of the musical Godspell.  A joint effort between the two rival high schools, gave a very harmonious, unified production.  While the music and lines are a bit stuck in the seventies, the directors were careful to keep it as fresh as possible with a few more modern touches.  The story itself is timeless, based on the parables and teachings of Christ. 

On stage for better than two hours, the lively ensemble was able to keep up their energy and wow the audience with solid acting and musicality.  As a proud parent, I was especially impressed with one young lass......I think you can figure it all out.  Based loosely on the character of Mary Magdelene, the role was not a large speaking part, but more of an onstage presence representing the dark side in both acts. Usually somewhat reserved and understated, my daughter vamped into the sultry seductress, with perhaps too great an ease!  Her solo, Turn Back, O Man, was a bit of a surprise, although we had been thoroughly forewarned.  She really belted and turned up the heat with the audience.  Okay, I know I'm biased, but I have a right. 

The cast has really bonded over the past few weeks, as they've practically spent all their waking moments together.  I imagine these will be lifelong friendships in some cases.  Their closeness was evident both on and off stage throughout the evening.

Notice the sets behind, during the video.  This was where I spent a couple of my days over the Christmas break.  The director and I cut and constructed a lot of the multilevel stage.  In the past I have been more heavily involved in the painting aspects of the set.  However this one was very drab, black and grey (designed to contrast with the colourful costumes), so I really never had to lift a brush this time.  The screened box that Jesus stands in during the crucifixion scene, while not obvious to the audience took considerable figuring.  The screen had to be strong enough to support the standing actors, but fine enough to allow as much light as possible to illuminate the dying figure. 

The set took quite a beating over the course of the night; a lot of dancing, jumping and shaking.  However, as my cordless drill can attest, it was solidly enough constructed to take at least three more performances.  And then comes the onerous task of ripping it all apart on Sunday afternoon.  That'll be a little like taking down the Christmas tree.  You hate for the season to end, but at least we will all have the memories and a few thousands photos splashed across Facebook.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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