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“Godspell” at Gaston Day School

blumey student critics
T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
Nathan Overton

The crowd at Gaston Day’s performance of “Godspell“ was truly put under a spell of brilliant movements and actions of the ensemble.

Holly Mason directed and took this classic, which has often been based in abandoned buildings, to a boardroom where the technology of today’s age creates a distraction between us and the light that is Jesus.

The 12 disciples were dressed in business attire as the play started. Jesus (Zach Mitchell) came on as a janitor and became the tie-dyed Christ for which “Godspell” is known. As the ensemble traded phones and temptations for salvation (represented by scarfs, sweaters and bright, colorful ties), we were taken on a journey about Jesus and his life.

The company gave a strong, united performance of “Learn Your Lessons Well.” Mason Farmer, who played John the Baptist and Judas, led the ensemble in a strong “We Beseech Thee.” In each number, Erin Sharpe’s choreography seamlessly fit the overall effect.

One fine detail carried throughout the musical was the use of paper. Paper is used in every kind of life, especially the business world; it was used here to show the conformity of people to that world, while also being used as decoration to make the “Beautiful City” as the disciples prepare for the lord. When Jesus speaks of the rapture, he says one farmer in the field will be taken to be with the Lord, while the other people will be torn like paper.

The set of the musical also included windows in the back of the boardroom; these were used as the cross for Jesus to be crucified on.

The ensemble overall worked well together, as the play was full of quick improvisation and interactive story telling. “Godspell” is not an easy play to pull off, but the crowd was intrigued during the whole process that told us “Prepare ye…”

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