‘A fictional ski town’
'Godspell' caters to Steamboat themes
October 12, 2007
Steamboat Springs — “Godspell” debuted in 1971 and was originally set in the inner city.
But Michael Brumbaugh, who will direct a local production of the show that opens Thursday and runs through Oct. 20 at the Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater, said the rock musical is relevant to today’s Steamboat Springs.
“Since we are in the stages of construction, I figured I would stay with that motif,” Brumbaugh said. So instead of setting the show in its traditional, broken-down concrete playground, Brumbaugh has set it in a “fictional ski town being torn down to make way for progress.”
He’s even modeled the multi-level set on the loading area behind The Tugboat Grill & Pub and adorned a stage left wall with a sign for “The Slugboat.”
The theme of the show goes along with the lessons behind development and change, he said: “Don’t set your heart on the things here on Earth.”
The show – with words and music by Stephen Schwartz, who also did “Wicked” and a pair of Disney musicals – is made up of parables from the Bible. The message in “Godspell” is broad, sincere and backed by its almost unflaggingly upbeat and genuine musical numbers, including the popular “Day by Day.”
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But it’s not overpowering, said Ian Noble, who plays Jesus.
“I like how it’s not like really preachy, but it gets a message across,” Noble said.
Rehearsals for the show began seven weeks ago. At a Tuesday night rehearsal a week and a half before opening night, the mostly high-school-age cast said the show was ready, with just a few loose ends to tie up.
“I can’t wait to perform it; it’s going to be awesome,” said Cody Poirot, who plays Judas. The 10-member cast is perfectly suited to the show’s characters, of which only Jesus and Judas have set names, Poirot said. Because the narrative set-up of the show is relatively loose, it leaves room for improvisation and individual takes on what’s going on from its actors.
Add a live band – led by musical director Christel Houston – and standard-worthy musical theater tunes, and “Godspell” is a fun show for its community theater cast and audience.
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