‘Godspell’ impresses audience


The Liva Arts Company performed “Godspell” Nov. 7-10.
This was the first time the club put on a show in the Elm Park United Methodist Church on Linden Street, as they used the now-demolished Leahy Hall for performances in the past. The church made for an intimate environment that worked well with the script, and the lights created a theatrical atmosphere.
The cast wore neon and tie-dyed costumes, and cast members interacted with the audience several times to create a light-hearted atmosphere during the first act. After intermission, though, the play took a serious turn as Jesus was tempted to deny God and was crucified by Judas.
“Godspell” dramatizes several parables including the Prodigal Son, Lazarus and the Rich Man and the Good Samaritan. Ten cast members act interchangeably as philosophers, players in the parables, disciples and angels. Each actor fluidly shifted roles and looked comfortable on stage.
The singing was close to professional and the dancing was excellent. The modern retelling of the Gospel starred John Christiano as Jesus and Kyle Rogers as Judas/John the Baptist. The other cast members were Markis Blackwell, Tarajee Karriem, Alex Kerr, Jess Lavery, Johnathan McNamee, Aisling Myers, Lauren Seychell, Lori Travers and Louis Yorey.
Andrea Marano was the director and choreographer, and the assistant director was Bill Shubeck. Lou Yorey was the musical director, assisted by Kayla Condel. Abby Roselli was responsible for lighting. Matt Stokesbury and Will Dempsey were responsible for sound.
The most impressive part of the show was the first scene, when several of the actors stood on stage representing various philosophers. They spoke over one another as they declared their views of knowledge in a song called “Towers of Babble.” As they drifted away from center stage Kyle Rodgers entered as John the Baptist and called everyone to prepare for Jesus’ coming. He clearly represented truth amidst the mumbling philosophers while maintaining the appearance of humility.

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