In a world gone mad with war and consumption, messages that concentrate on positive behaviors are much appreciated. One such uplifting example is the production of the musical Godspell, now running at Boulder's Dinner Theatre.
Based on the gospel according to Matthew, Stephen Schwartz' vibrant musical encourages the use of everyday contemporary situations to bring home the relevance of timeless spiritual advice. Refreshingly, despite the New Testament origins of the material, the book makes it clear that what Jesus taught has nothing to do with modern fundamentalism: "Don't make a show of your religion before men," says Jesus (Scott Beyette), who turns up as a coach at a local gym in post-9-11 New York City.
The rest of the ensemble appear as hipsters, firemen, street basketball players, hookers, and other typical borough inhabitants. Even Sesame Street characters make an appearance. The result is a non-stop, high-energy production filled with multi-dimensional music, boisterous choreography, heart-felt singing, and theatrical schtick, including vaudeville, burlesque, slapstick, soft shoe, strobe effects, and comic sound effects.
The cityscape set captures the essence of the Big Apple, and the live band keeps Schwartz' blues, pop, country, and even operatic compositions swinging. Ulimately, though, there's a simple message in all of this—The Golden Rule: "Always treat others as you would have them treat you. That is the whole of the law and the prophets."
Boulder's Dinner Theatre's Godspell, directed by Wayne Kennedy, runs through June 15th. 303-449-6000.