Godspell | Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Godspell Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 10 2014

Time hasn't been cruel to Godspell—it's been creepy. Back in 1971, when the musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak premiered off-Broadway, audiences were disposed to associate its pop treatment of Jesus's life and teachings with a flower-child vibe, the way they might associate Tang with NASA. Now the vibe has mutated into something more like that of a Christian-rock megachurch service. In Texas. The transformation couldn't be clearer in Matt Raftery's updated staging, which features chirpy, doe-eyed, clean-cut disciples and a short-haired, blond Jesus whose polo shirt makes him look like he just came off the back nine at the club. (Strangely, considering the show's love-thy-neighbor message, the cast evince a noticeably narrow diversity spectrum.) The ostentatious, Jesus-robot sweetness of it all is frustrating in that it overwhelms the production's virtues: occasionally interesting music, universally well-tempered singing voices, and in the second act, a nuanced, visually striking approach to Jesus's dark night of the soul. —Tony Adler

Price: $40-$48


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