Godspell is coming to Broadway. You can catch a sneak peak here.
I’m not sure what I think about this show on Broadway. It doesn’t seem to fit. Godspell is a show that I’ve basically seen my whole life. I saw it as a child, as a teenager, as an adult. I’ve listened to the music for years. I could probably, if put to it, sing most of the songs. I really enjoy the show and I enjoy the way the story is told. I’m not religious but the emotional outpouring of that message in song really speaks to me. I’ve seen the show done poorly, I’ve seen it done with pure sincere joy. I’ve seen it in a basement, in a church, in a theatre, in an empty space. For me, it works the best when it’s low rent: Costumes that are pulled together, props that are found objects, set pieces that are worn and look like they belong to something else. It’s a simple show and I don’t mean simplistic which I think is where the show can go drastically wrong. Sincerity is simple, and when people try too hard Godspell can be unbearable.
And that’s what I see when I watched that broadway clip. Actors trying to wear characters as opposed to being characters. Everybody trying on smiles and sincerity instead of just being in the moment and being in the songs. I know the original version of the show was performed Off-Broadway (which I believe was a different animal way back when) and never on Broadway (hey, correct me if I’m wrong!) and I’m just not sure the Broadway aesthetic and the show fit. I wonder what the drive was to choose this particular show for the great white way. Who knows, I could be dead wrong and it’s exactly what people need to see right now: simplicity and sincerity.
What do you think?