Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Dedham Rocks - Godspell

Once again I'm back writing because there is this terrific blog in my town (or, as we say "wicked aswesome" blog) that gets me to write the things I love about my kids' school and the town were I live.

This weekend my family will be part of its fifth Parish Players’ production, an enthusiastic and uplifting version of Godspell. One son and I sang in a musical review in 2006, which is when I almost had to stop singing “For Good” from the musical Wicked (you can visit my blog to read the full story). The following year both of my twin boys and I were Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz. When the youngest child got into the shows, I helped from behind the scenes watching them in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and this spring’s Guys and Dolls.

This time around all three kids insisted I be on stage with them. So I tried out in early September, singing “The Preamble” from the Saturday morning classic, Schoolhouse Rocks (c’mon, you know it – “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union….”).

Unfortunately I did such a good job I ended up part of the 8 person opening number, one of the hardest pieces I have ever had to learn, and sing. And this weekend I have to sing it before an audience.

Godspell is the retelling of the Gospels of Saint Matthew (for instance the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son) with short skits and songs. The show lends itself perfectly to the type of productions the Parish Players’ puts on. Everyone who auditions gets a part. There is no “type” of performer or expectation of previous stage experience required. We have had cast members as young as four and as mature as 90 years old. So while the original 1971 show had only 10 cast members (including Sonia Manzano aka Maria from Sesame Street), our intergenerational cast of 26 are able to share speaking roles and songs.

And the Parish Players, while affiliated with the First Church and Parish in Dedham, is open to all. We have performers who have never set foot in the church sanctuary because they worship elsewhere. For instance, Mary has never in her life been on stage or sung in public (and her first ever singing in public will be in that opening number I mention above). But she played the Godspell cast album over and over again in high school and knows every song by heart. This is her chance to sing it.

We have been Dedham’s local amateur theater company for 16 years. So come see a wonderful show this weekend. And think about your audition song for the next production. We’d love to have you there.

Godspell will be performed this weekend (November 12-14) at the First Church and Parish in Dedham, 670 High Street, Dedham, MA. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:00pm and Sunday’s show is at 2:00pm. To purchase tickets, either call 781-326-7463 or email firstchurch@dedhamuu.org. Tickets are $10 ($5 for children under 12 and seniors 65 and over).