OBy Nicholas Plante ’18
Over four decades ago, playwright John-Michael Tebelak and composer Stephen Schwartz presented the Gospel of Matthew in an unprecedented manner. In 1971, the two put their talents together to conceive the widely acclaimed musical Godspell. After going on an international tour, the musical made its Broadway debut in 1976. Since then, the production has played in a variety of revivals, its most recent in 2012. On March 4, 5, and 6, Chaminade High School’s Darby Players performed their own spin on the celebrated production.
Chaminade’s adaptation of this classic musical portrays the ministry and passion of Christ in a contemporary manner. It starts off by showing how the Savior, portrayed by Will DeVito ’16, is the fulfillment of the words of the prophets. After being anointed by the Baptizer, played by Mary Kate Petsky, the Savior begins his ministry. He puts a modern twist on his messages, which are based on various parables from the Bible. A fair dose of audience interaction makes the play even more relatable. Following the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Supper, the Savior is turned over to his critics by the Betrayer, who is played by Catherine Rabus. As he is crucified, his followers look on in awe.
Kevin McSorley ’16, who played a follower of the Savior, stated, “It was incredible to work with such amazing people and come together to make something so awesome.”
As always, the Darby Players put a great deal of effort into their production of Godspell. The show featured actors from Chaminade, as well as actresses from several different high schools, including Kellenberg, Manhasset, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Schreiber, and Sacred Heart Academy. With instruction from Mrs. Annie Kearns, Mrs. Viktoriya Khokhlova, and Mr. Brian Lewis, many of these performers showcased their impressive abilities in a variety of musical arrangements, including the hit song “Day by Day.”
In order to produce a great musical, much work must also be done behind the scenes. The diligence of director Mr. Michael Bruno ’90 cannot be overlooked. Pleased with how the musical turned out, Mr. Bruno said, “This was one of the most cohesive projects I’ve ever been associated with. It was deceptively difficult to coordinate, but we got the job done since everyone raised their game.”
Chaminade’s Production Crew also played a pivotal role in the success of Godspell. With the guidance of Mr. Michael Adamovich ’08, Mr. Greg Brown ’10, Mr. Richard Bottenus, Mrs. Nancy Dufek, and Mr. Michael McCarthy, the crew built the set, which included a huge scaffolding and other structures to portray the urban setting, from scratch.
Jack Valentino ’18, a member of the crew, stated, “We put the set together in less time than we’ve needed in the past, and that’s a true testament to the dedication and hard work put forward by everyone involved.”
Godspell will be performed again at Chaminade High School on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 P.M. and Saturday, March 12 at 3 P.M. Tickets are $5 each. Come and support this group of talented young performers as they present the Good News of Jesus Christ in an exciting manner!