Saturday, February 28, 2009

Inside Nan: Godspell

I've seen Godspell on stage a dozen times. Each performance amazes -- some have been sweet and intimate (Off-Broadway many years ago)others weakened by casts less talented. Last night I attended one at a small local college. It was a stunning performance -- strong exuberant talent, consistent energy, nuanced dialogue and interplay. The set -- oceanside for Spring Break -- was perfect, supporting and enhancing the play. The effects spactacular. The band -- superb. Soldout house. The play is fluid in interpretation -- that is, the political humor and asides are flavored by the current times -- there were references to Oprah, the Stimulus Package, Donald Trump. The song that concludes "let's have some wine..." was revised to "I'm feeling fine..." I had some wonderings before I went about what this particular commnunity might do with the options that Godspell offers. I expected some. But then the ending was completely changed from any performance I had ever seen! I was dumbstruck by the change and I am still reeling. Am I naive? Can you just fundementally change the ending? People who never saw the play before have no idea what was done. Comments? Think of strong important stories in our lives -- can someone just turn the ending upside down to suit some agenda? Can we manipulate someone's work this way? I did some searching this morning and found this brief essay about layers and subtext in Godspell. It helped sort some of my thoughts.

1 comment: said...

I loved the clip and the essay. Thanks for this posting. The fluidity of GODSPELL is definitely part of its magic for me. Like life - so open to interpretation. I'm delighted to benefit from your librarian helpfulness in ferreting out that essay link. With respect for mulling and sharing, EJS