‘Godspell’ visits Eagle
Vail Daily Correspondent
EAGLE, Colorado – The cool grass under foot is the first sign that you are in for a spectacular treat. The outdoor Centennial Stage is surrounded by children begging Robert Wagner for a balloon animal. Since he plays the generous Jesus character, he acquiesces to each request. After all, this is a family-friendly show.
The musical “Godspell” is being performed by the Porchlight Players for free at the Eagle Town Park this Friday and Sunday. “Godspell” is a Broadway musical created by Stephen Schwartz, and the musical is based off of the Gospel according to Matthew. The parables taught by Jesus are modernized into today’s life of Eagle County. The Jesus of this show rides in on a bicycle to be baptized by John the Baptist, and the show truly begins.
Director Lance Schober is very excited about the company and the music and the message.
“This whole cast is super-talented, and I am really proud of all of them,” Schober said. “This is a very difficult show to direct. It’s like 10 stories in one, and it’s very prop heavy and it needs very talented people to pull off the dancing. It’s an ensemble show because it takes everyone in the cast to make this show. Everyone here is a ham. It’s almost like in this show we are all encouraged to be over-melodramatic. We are kind of going along the theme of the original show, with very eclectic costumes, like what you would see a bunch of college kids wearing on the lawn in 1970’s. In reality, we have an array of professional people donating their time.”
The show encourages audience participation, and the on-stage antics really keep the kids’ attention so that the wholesome messages really seem to sink in. At the rehearsal, children from around the park walked over and watched the actors simply because the show is so interactive. The costumes are bright and cheery and the stage acting is over the top. The musical begins with the Christian introduction to the beginning of time and ends with the death of Jesus. The Porchlight Players have made this a family-friendly show, so the last scene is not too scary for the little ones. The appeal must be in the acting: the old parables are interrupted with extremely modern anecdotes to keep the attention, like references to iPhone applications and cartoons. This is definitely not your typical Sunday school sermon.
The Porchlight Players are scheduled to perform twice this weekend, on Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The show runs about an hour and a half and there is no intermission. If you want to make it a night out with the whole family, bring a picnic basket with dinner and blankets for the kids.