Originally created as a master's degree project, “Godspell” is one of those interesting ensemble productions that can be more about concepts than an actual plot. The show's focus isn't really about the story of Jesus Christ as much as it is about his parables and teachings.
Cadence Theatre Company's current production of this lively musical features wonderful voices. Standout moments from the show include Carolyn Meade's (Sonia) sultry number “Turn Back, O Man,” Russell Rowland and Nick Shackleford's (Judas and Jesus) vaudeville-inspired “All for the Best,” and Aly Wepplo and T'Arah Craig's (Peggy and Gilmer) beautiful harmony on “By My Side.”
Kim Fox's musical direction highlights both the cast's excellent voices and the musical prowess of the four-piece band that she leads. Leslie Owens-Harrington's energetic choreography has the show's 10 actors whirling around the tiny stage at lightning speed.
Brian Barker's set design is fairly bare-bones, but works fine as a platform for the show. The uncredited sound design balances the singing and live band perfectly. Renee Coates' '70s inspired costumes fit the time period from which the show originated and add to the show's sense of retro fun.
Under Anna Johnson's direction the production is well-produced, especially considering that everything takes place in the spare room of a church. All aspects of the set, lighting and sound have to be brought in from elsewhere. Given the show's subject matter, it might not be a favorite of the more secular, but in its purpose of celebrating the teachings of Jesus, Cadence's production does it justice.
Cadence Theatre Company's “Godspell” plays at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 12291 River Road, through Feb. 27. Tickets are $18-$28. Call 233-4894 or visit cadencetheatre.org for information.