Chicago Theatre Review
Book of Matthew Crash Course
By: Kayland Smyth
In Christianity there are two types of people: those who believe in a God and intensively study the Bible, and those who believe in a God but do not really study the bible. If you fall into the category of believing in a God but do not study the Bible then GODSPELL is a great refresher or crash course on learning the book of Matthew.
GODSPELL is a modern day take on the Gospel According to Matthew. Its score is by Academy and Grammy Award winner and six- time Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz and book by John Michael Tebelak. GODSPELL uses improvisation and contemporary themes to illustrate a message of kindness, community and hope that still resonates today. The cast, whom all embodied different biblical characters, includes: TJ Anderson, Jeanne T. Arrigo, Megan Ensley, Veronica Garza, Michelle Limon, Andrew Lund, Jake Mahier, Pavi Proczko, Stephanie Rohr and Nick Shoda.
I found this production to be very unique in a couple of ways
starting with the cast. The members of the cast not only acted and sang they also played the music for each song. Rarely do you see actors playing the musical’s score in a musical production. Normally, the actors just sing and act but I enjoyed hearing live music instead of a pre-recorded instrumental. I also liked the size and location of the stage. The stage was small and in the middle of the audience. It felt as though the audience was a part of the production. It also felt more intimate, giving the actors more to play around with while improvising.
GODSPELL, put on by the Brown Paper Box Company, runs from September 20, 2012 to October 7, 2012 at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave. Performances run Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3:00p.Tickets are $20 on Thursday, $25 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Industry cost is $15 at the door with headshot and resume. For tickets visit boxpapertickets.com.