FAIRFIELD, IOWA – The Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts is gearing up for the opening of The Way Off Broadway production of Godspell, which will be running for three weekends only, April 18 – 20, 24 – 27, and May 1 – 4. Rehearsal are underway and the cast is working with director Randy West and Music Director Justin Hill to present Godspell as it has never been seen before.
If you missed the Early Bird Special, be sure to take advantage of the Godspell Players Out About Town campaign that will be in effect in Fairfield. The cast will be taking field trips to various hotspots in the community to spread the “Godspell”, so to speak. It’s a chance for people to meet the cast, get a taste of what this show is all about, and receive some surprise goodies (which may or may not include discounts on tickets, amongst other things). Their first public appearance will be Friday, April 4, 6:30 PM at Revelations.
Godspell is a modern telling of the story of Jesus Christ based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew. The pop-rock score is by Stephen Schwartz, who won several awards for Godspell, including two Grammys. Schwartz also wrote the music and lyrics to the musical Pippin, The Baker’s Wife, The Magic Show and the current mega-hit Wicked.
Schwartz has worked extensively in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also provided songs for DreamWorks' first animated feature, The Prince of Egypt, for which he won another Academy Award for the song "When You Believe" famously performed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Randal K. West, the Artistic Director for the Sondheim Center will direct and choreograph this production of Godspell with Justin Hill, Resident Music Director for the Sondheim Center, providing the musical direction. West has directed many successful productions of Godspell in the past, but the Sondheim Center’s revival promises to be a version unlike any other. Bob Hoerlein is creating the scenic design which incorporates elements of impressionist art and even a touch of Doug Henning-style magic.
Godspell will feature a group of exceedingly talented Iowa performers, as well as talent from North Carolina, California, and Ohio. Each performer remains on stage throughout the entire performance as the cast creates a truly unique musical theatre experience. Godspell will be performed as if it is being created “in the moment” in front of the live audience, keeping the work fresh, new and alive.
The modern, pop-rock score brims with a youthful sound and the performance features high energy musical numbers with fun and physical choreography. The dance encompasses jazz, show, soft-shoe and a little hip hop.
“Godspell is both a moving religious experience for those who want it to be, as well as a delightful theatrical experience,” explains West. “We approach the work with the innocence of being child-like and we honor the story in a fashion that is proper and yet still funny and touching when appropriate.”
West has been responsible for over 3,000 individual performances of Godspell. When asked how he could still conceive of a new approach for the current revival, West answered, “Godspell is always as new as the headlines and as fresh as the talented people featured in the cast. It’s always a thrill to create a new version of this ageless piece of musical theatre. What we present will have a creative energy and a theatrical style that we believe will transform the audience during the two hours they spend with us.”
The Sondheim Center is offering Group Sales through April 14th, as well as Church Group Discounts through April 11th. For more information or to purchase tickets contact the Box Office at 641-472-(ARTS) 2787. Box office hours are Monday through Friday 12pm to 6pm. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances and remains open through the end of intermission.
For notification about future performances and events at the Sondheim Center and the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, join the mailing list at www.fairfieldacc.com.