‘Godspell’

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to see ‘Godspell’ on Broadway with an assorted grouping of my family members. The show is at Circle in the Square theater, which is set up like this:

I went in knowing the show would be good — Broadway has yet to disappoint me — but I had no idea that it would be so incredible. The cast was stellar. The show was a lot of fun, very interactive, and just an overall good time.

I found out a few days ago from my mom that there was word that ‘Godspell’ could potentially close. On June 24th. As in, less than two weeks from now. @BwayGodspell on Twitter just confirmed that yes, the show will be closing — after only a 9 month run.

My heart sunk. I had planned (but not yet gotten tickets) to go back and see the show in August once my summer classes ended. Now I won’t have the opportunity.

An article I read cited that a decline in ticket sales were to blame. There was hope that the cast’s performance at the Tony Awards would help. However, I’m sure I’m not the only person who noticed how gypped the cast was. True, they were not one of the nominees for best musical; those casts usually have featured performances to show everyone what they’re all about.

But why shouldn’t the Tony’s also showcase shows that need a little help?

The ‘Godspell’ cast got up, stood at the edge of the stage, and sang a refrain from “Day by Day” and a bit from “Light of the World”. Yes, some cast members jumped down into the audience, but the entire performance had a bit of a “what was the point of that” feel after it was over.

I was instantly mad. Couldn’t people see how awesome this show is?

Apparently not, or it wouldn’t be closing.

There’s not much I can say that will fix this situation. The show is closing and there’s nothing I can do about it except write about how amazing it was for me.

The style of the show is one that hasn’t been seen in modern Broadway much — clowning. Clowning is about putting your whole self — body, mind, spirit — into a very energetic character. I got to learn first-hand just how difficult clowning actually is when I performed in my University’s musical, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. We did many intensive acting exercises in clowning, and as a result, had an insanely fun show.

Also, we got to wear fun makeup.

When I saw ‘Godspell,’ I was instantly transported back a few months to ‘Joseph’. The kids on stage were doing what we had done — told the story through clowning. It brought a tear to my eye. Clowning is such an underrated, beautiful form of story-telling.

In ‘Joseph,’ we wore noses. If I look up from my computer screen, I can see my nose sitting on my dresser. It’s the constant reminder of the beautiful production I was a part of.

Me with a castmate in our noses.

While the ‘Godspell’ kids don’t wear noses, they still became incredible characters. I was blessed to be able to see the show and pull the parallels with my own show.

I’m going to leave everyone with the quote our incredible director left us before one of our performances of ‘Joseph’:

“Fools are the people that change the world.”

Dr. Young

The world may not take clowning seriously, but there are still some of us out there who appreciate it wholeheartedly.

To the cast of ‘Godspell’ : thank you for all that you’ve done for the acting community. ❤

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