November 9, 2004 > Godspell
by Heidi Leung
Newark Memorial's rendition of the hit Broadway musical, Godspell, is executed with an energetic and enthusiastic cast. In addition to high energy, the stage and backdrops were excellent and amazing. The play, cleverly set at Manhattan's "ground-zero," forces the audience to travel back in time to a desperate moment when people were searching for hope and comfort. However, the message was sometimes lost in translation as stage action is, at times, a bit overwhelming.
Rather than re-enacting the Broadway version told through colorful hippies, the Newark Memorial Performing Arts Department modernized the story, using different nations as characters. Character development was a bit weak, but as the play continues its run and actors become more accustomed to their roles, this will probably improve. The huge cast is extremely active and the storyline can be a bit confusing when all are in motion.
The musical piece "Turn Back O Man" was refreshing and captured the lively spirit of past Newark Memorial presentations such as "Cabaret". High energy from the cast is contagious and can carry the audience to an enjoyable experience.
Through November 20
8 p.m. (Friday & Saturday)
Newark Memorial High School
39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark