Theater Review: Godspell, Done to Death entertain local audiences

Playing only one weekend at Bethesda Covenant Church was Godspell, a musical based on the gospel of St. Matthew. Originally staged in the ’70s, it maintains a relevance to society today. joan e. kole found some amazingly talented singers and actors ranging in age from teen-agers to more mature adults. Andrew Perez, a student at Guilford, played Jesus, and Nathan Parker, John/Judas.

Having seen Jesus Christ Superstar last year at Guilford, my expectations were high. Every aspect of the production, from the clever staging to the talented band led by Jon Wright, satisfied my anticipation.

Kole not only found outstanding cast members but organized an equally talented production crew. Jim Radloff remains tops in his ability to design and stage effectively. Genny Bonavia’s costumes, Ric Ruiz’s lighting, David Mauer’s sound and Rebecca Pink’s beautiful choreography gave the work an absolutely professional look.

The stories Jesus told to his followers gave his beliefs meaning. The clever way kole and Radloff illustrated these parables was amazing. My favorite was the story of the Good Samaritan, done with sock monkey hand puppets.

In spite of its short run, Godspell represents community theater at its best.

Done to Death at Keith Country Day School

Carolyn Cadigan has been on staff at Keith for six years, and joining her recently, Jim Radloff enhances an already strong theater program at the school. Their ability to work with young people enriches their lives and gives them an opportunity to learn stage craft. Every aspect of the production involved students.

Done to Death, a murder mystery in the genre of Agatha Christie, assembles a group of writers whose pretentiousness outweighs their egos. The Olives, Jessica (Anna Azimi) and Whitney (Matt Thomassen) become their own characters gulping martinis while carrying on superficial conversation. Ashley Ray-Harris is Mildred Z. Maxwell, Pier Debes—Brad Benedict, and Eli Logemann, Rodney Duckton. Steve Siegel is Jason Summers, a representative of WMI Studios, whose function is to have this diverse group write a feasible mystery. That’s when the complications begin. Every bit of comic theater develops. The cast had a great time.

From the Nov. 23-29, 2005, issue

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