Dec 2, 2011

Jesus, etc.

My review of the new Godspell is up at America, the Catholic weekly:
If you couple the atmosphere of communal expectation this 40-year-old show stirs in its fans with the fact that the show itself is designed as little more than a receptacle for those good vibes (you might even call it a kind of communion), it is easy to understand the strategy of the new revival, directed by Daniel Goldstein. It wants to tickle us where we live by liberally adding topical references (Steve Jobs, Lindsay Lohan, Heidi Klum) and audience interaction, as well as by amping up the musical arrangements to embrace disco, prog-rock, metal, hip-hop and “Glee”-style vocalizing. The approach smacks of an over-eager youth pastor straining to be hip for an audience of skeptical, ADD-addled kids. The uncharitable term for this would be “pandering,” though St. Paul might endorse it as a case of being all things to all people.
And that's the nice stuff I have to say.

Bbonus: I end up nodding to an actually spiritually enriching play currently running on the other side of 7th Avenue, Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet.

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