"Godspell" has been revived for Broadway with its infectious score in tow. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
I've always thought of “Godspell” as "Hair" for the PG set. But while "Hair" found new relevance amid our latest war woes, "Godspell" entertaining as it is, seems hopelessly naive. Lacking cynicism, it reflects a time when idealistic young people could romp around a stage singing about love and peace...and win converts. Now in its first Broadway revival, “Godspell” turns out to be a 40-year-old relic that's surprisingly irresistible.
It started as a college project in the early 70s putting a contemporary spin on the story of Jesus as told through the Book Of Matthew. Using familiar parables, John Michael-Tebelak portrayed Jesus as a beneficent bohemian with nine actors cast as his disciples. It wasn't till Stephen Schwartz came on board to write the music that “Godspell” became a hit. And those excellent tunes are as toe-tappingly infectious as ever.
Attempting to offset the dated stylizing, the production features numerous pop culture references including Lindsay Lohan, Steve Jobs and Donald Trump. And gone are the clown costumes along with Jesus’ Superman shirt.
Daniel Goldstein's crisply paced direction makes good use of the theatre in the round adding some nice surprises. But it's the energetic ensemble led by Hunter Parrish as Jesus that makes the production truly sing. “Godspell” could so easily turn insipidly saccharine and its simplistic religious themes a possible turn-off. But these talented performers seemed to have no problem making believers of their audience.
I've always liked the “Godspell” score more than Schwartz's music for “Wicked.” And while it's still awfully sweet, I bet theatregoers searching for a "Glee-like" fix will find in “Godspell” the answer to their prayers. You just need to check your cynicism at the door.