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MTG's Godspell offers breathtaking power

Godspell

An MIT Musical Theatre Guild Production.

Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak.

Music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Directed by Richard Jamieson.

Produced by Natalia Fuentes.

Starring Bill Lin '94, Bruce Applegate '94, Ivi Acua '96, Hoyt Bleakley,

Tara Perry '96, Teresa Raine '97, Evan Sherbrooke PhD '95, Kenya Taylor '97,

Allison Werner '98, and Jake Yara '95.

Kresge Little Theater.

Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.

By Amanda Gruhl

During R/O the MIT Musical Theatre Guild gave a brilliant presentation of Godspell. Playing again tonight and tomorrow, the production offers breathtaking power in its combination of incredible acting by the cast, great music by Stephen Schwartz, and wonderful direction by Richard Jamieson.

Godspell is based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. It is the story of Christ's teaching, crucifixion, and resurrection in modern times set to words. The characters are Jesus and his 9 (not 12) disciples. Jesus comes to them as the Messiah, and teaches them how to love God and each other with an open heart. Soon one of the disciples betrays Jesus, who is crucified, and then resurrected, so that all people may be forgiven for their sins.

The acting of this old scenario was spectacular. At first, the characters seemed too happy and content to be realistic, but in the second act, the pain and sadness on the faces of the actors gave a whole new dimension to the characters. The incredible emotional contrast between their euphoria and anguish made the story come alive. Especially impressive was Bruce Applegate's performance. His body language and facial expressions brought his torment after betraying Jesus to life.

The technical aspects of the play were excellent also. The contrast between the set and the costumes was almost as dramatic as that between the emotions of the characters. The set was very plain and simple, yet the costumes were bright and detailed - appropriately so, because they forced the audience to focus on the characters, the obscure setting creating a sense of universality from behind.