Opening on Wednesday, May 22 and running through June 16, Ivoryton Playhouse presents the beautiful and uplifting musical, GODSPELL. GODSPELL began as John Michael Tebelak’s master thesis at Carnegie Mellon University with lyrics taken directly from the Episcopal Hymnal. Stephen Schwartz, also from Carnegie Mellon, was hired to write a new score, adding original songs to the modernized hymns.
The show opened off-Broadway in 1971 where it ran for 2,214 performances. After transferring to Broadway in 1976, GODSPELL continued its run for an additional 527 performances and became a popular movie in 1973.
GODSPELL is an important show in the history of the Ivoryton Playhouse. It was first performed here in 1974 starring Bruce Connelly as Jesus. Bruce has remained a dear member of the playhouse family and can currently be seen in GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER which runs through May 12.
Larry Thelen directed a beautiful production of GODSPELL in 2009 and ten years later we are proud to include it in our summer season. This production is based on the 2012 Broadway revival - a masterful retelling of the original sensation, injected with contemporary references and dazzling new arrangements.
Loosely based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, GODSPELL is a delightful romp, full of humor and love and glorious music, with several classics (“Day by Day” was actually a Billboard hit in 1972). This upbeat retelling of biblical parables is punctuated and amplified by a simple, melodic score by Stephen Schwartz. Director Jacqui Hubbard said, “It is one of the most significant off- Broadway musicals written by one of the most significant writers of musical theatre today. The themes are timeless and the piece is as relevant, if not more relevant today as it was 47 years ago. Because of its energy and broad appeal it crosses generational lines and children both young and old love the music and the story. It is a big part of the Playhouse mission to be a theatre for all people and GODSPELL helps spread the word”
The cast features Playhouse alums Sam Sherwood* (ONCE; THE ROAD – JOHN DENVER) as Jesus, Carson Higgins* (MEMPHIS; LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS) as Judas, Sam Given* (I HATE MUSICALS; CHORUS LINE), Morgan Morse (ONCE) adn Lilly Tobin* (STAND BY YOUR MAN), with Jerica Exum, Kedrick Falk, Kaileah Hankerson, Gabriella Saramago, and Josh Walker*.
The play is directed by Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard, musical directed by Michael M. Morris, choreographed by Todd L. Underwood, set design by Martin Marchitto, costumes by Cully Long and lighting design by Marcus Abbott.
GODSPELL opens on May 22 and runs thru June 16 for 4 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. There will be one Thursday matinee on May 23rd and two Saturday matinees on June 1st and June 15th.
Tickets are $55 adult / $50 senior / $25 student / $20 children 12 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates and subscriptions are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
*denotes member of Actors Equity