A playful, circus troupe-like approach to the parables in Act 1 gave way to a too-serious second act in a staging of “Godspell” at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
Performed in Freede Little Theatre, the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre version of the hit 2011 Broadway revival of the musical earned an enthusiastic response for its “feel good” approach to St. Matthew's gospel.
Contributing to this happy outcome was the sheer energy and good spirits of the more youthful cast members in the CityRep co-production with the University of Central Oklahoma music theater department.
Sounding just confused enough, company members entered walking in a circle, wearing clothes from all walks of life, to monotonous ticktock clock sounds in “Tower of Babel,” the musical's opening song. In one of his two roles, Jamard Richardson as John the Baptist soon stirred them out of their lethargy, with his intense rendition of “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.”
Then Lane Fields as Jesus comes to get “cleaned up” by John the Baptist, and dons his own unbuttoned “co-pilot” shirt and plain pants. Even as he was getting baptized and exchanging a variety of charming greetings with the cast, Fields was leading them in “Save the People.”
Touchingly naive, and addressed directly to Jesus was the musical's most famous song, “Day by Day,” sung with wonderful, clear-eyed sweetness and conviction by UCO senior Chelsea Larsen.
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