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Westport Community Theatre’s 'Godspell' Praised By Critic

The Godspell cast. Front row: Rosalind Cormier, Emily Beers and Jessica Braun. Back row: Caitlin Brown, Katherine Logan, Juan Ayala, Tyler Campbell, Bill Warncke Dena Lagonigro and Rob Pawlikowski.
The Godspell cast. Front row: Rosalind Cormier, Emily Beers and Jessica Braun. Back row: Caitlin Brown, Katherine Logan, Juan Ayala, Tyler Campbell, Bill Warncke Dena Lagonigro and Rob Pawlikowski. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn., -- The Westport Community Theatre’s production of the musical "Godspell" opened to enthusiastic audiences and received a ‘praiseful’ review from critic Bonnie Goldberg.

The show, which continues weekends through Sunday, June 26, is directed by Maggie Pangrazio and produced by Sam Mink.

Goldberg celebrated both cast and director. “Like a rock concert and revival meeting combined, these eleven performers take the audience along…” and “Under the able leadership of director Maggie Pangrazio, the troupe forms a community that performs ‘like a freight train’ to light up the world…”

Based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and featuring a score by Stephen Schwartz, "Godspell" boasts a string of well-loved songs. "Day by Day" from the original cast album, reached #13 on the Billboard singles chart in 1972. According to Goldberg, “The glorious words of ‘Day By Day’ that pray for one to see and love and follow God was the high point of the show.”

Pangrazio also shared her enthusiasm: “The cast is so energetic is joyful, it's hard to resist tapping your feet to the beat! There's nothing more rewarding for a director then to see a cast able to share their joy and love of the show with an audience. This cast has a bond that is rare, and it shows — audiences will be singing these songs for days!”

Conceived and originally directed by John Michael Tebelak, with music and lyrics by Schwartz, "Godspell" is one of the biggest off-Broadway and Broadway successes ever. Drawing from various theatrical traditions, such as clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics and vaudeville, it is a unique reflection on the life of Jesus, with a message of kindness, tolerance and love.

“If your parables need polishing and your morals need motivation and your acts as a good Samaritan need stimulation, then the Westport Community Theatre has just the musical to get you moving: 'Godspell,' " Goildberg wrote.

The Westport cast includes Juan Ayala, Emily Beers, Jessica Braun, Caitlin Brown, Tyler Campbell, Betzabeth Castro, Rosalind Cormier, Dena Lagonigro, Katherine Logan, Rob Pawlikowski and Bill Warncke.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays with an 8 p.m. Thursday performance June 16. Tickets are $28, $26 for seniors and students, and can be purchased at westportcommunitytheatre.com or by calling (203) 226-1983. The Westport Community Theatre is at the Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.

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