The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 15, 2013

Time-tested play 'Godspell' to be presented at JLT

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — What started as project to inject more simplicity and joy into the story of Jesus' crucifixion has become a beloved, buoyant musical.

Playwright John Michael Tebelak's "Godspell" will be presented next week at Joplin Little Theatre.

"I'm happy that we have the opportunity to bring this show to our community," said director Jim Lile in a press release. "'Godspell' brings the kind of affirmation and spiritual uplift that are always welcome."

The music was composed by Stephen Schwartz, known for the music of "Pippin" and "Wicked." The musical tells the story of Jesus according to Matthew and covers his ministry from his baptism to the crucifixion. A few familiar parables are told along the way.

The cast includes Devri Brock, Hunter Dowell, Dyanne Lile, Kelly Musick, Abby Railsback, Halley Sageng, Mollie Sanders, Lacy Smith-Baum, Kendra Sparlin and Jimmy Zerkel. Nicholas Gilmore is the musical director, Heather Briley is choreographer and Jade Leggott was director of light design.

The production was created by Tebelak in response to an Easter service where a priest mumbled joylessly into a microphone, according to the release. He was so moved that he infused "Godspell" with the simplicity and joy he thought that service missed.

The play debuted off Broadway in 1971; a Broadway revival was opened in 2011.

The play will be shown at 7:30 p.m. March 20 to 23 and 2:30 p.m. March 24. Tickets: $15. $13 for seniors and students, $6 for children.

Details: 417-623-3638.