Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Jeff Thomas

The musical Godspell was chosen to kick off the first season of Santa Rosa Players and Actors Theatreís new community theatre, the 6th Street Playhouse. The musical, based on the Gospel according to Matthew, is full of the joy and passion of Christís life as seen in the more recent context of the 1960ís in San Francisco and in many ways reflects the passion of these two theatre companies to create something new and joyous for the Sonoma County community.

Written around 1971 Godspell, and several other musicals with spiritual themes, like Jesus Christ Superstar, focused on Christís life to the beat of rock-and-roll music. The Godspell title comes from an early form of gospel, which means good spell or good tidings. There is a lot of great song and dance but also magic, mime and clowning around. Indeed, Jesus dresses like a clown, because the clown is always the scapegoat even though his good humor fills people with laughter and wellbeing.

The real spirit of this show comes from the music. The live band, conducted by Sandy Wright Yen, combines beautifully with the voices of this large cast, which includes a childrenís workshop of over 25 voices. This youthful interpretation of Christís life is joyously entertaining for all ages.

For tickets or more information call (707) 523-4185.

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