Theater Company wraps up the year with stunning performance
Bursting with catchy rhythms and smooth harmonies, WHS Theater Company’s production of “Godspell” was a success. From the fast-paced pop song “Day by Day” to the slower ballad “Beautiful City,” the musical masterfully presented how the sharing of stories and the acceptance of others brings a community closer together.
The musical started with the song “Tower of Babble” in which eight soloists sang over each other in rapid lyrics. Each soloist represented a different philosopher from history, and the chaos of the song showed the division within the group due to conflicting opinions. Afterwards, the ensemble came on the stage with a slower tune, “God Save the People,” in which beautiful harmonies were mixed with unified choreography.
Throughout the first act, various members of the ensemble sang or told stories from the book of Matthew. Each contained core lessons that the group needed to learn, such as “treat others the way you want to be treated” from the Good Samaritan. At times, the cast called up members of the audience to the stage, creating an interactive and friendly atmosphere.
Along with smooth transitions from each story to the next, “Godspell” showcased numerous student soloists, including freshman Mimi Gotbetter, sophomore Helen Townsend, and senior Brianna LaValle.
While these solo performances put the spotlight on only a few students at a time, the acting of the whole group was crucial throughout the show in maintaining a high level of energy within each scene. Reactions from the ensemble elevated the comedic relief and accentuated the mood of each scene.
The second act started with junior VJ Rougeau being chosen to take on the role of Jesus Christ. Rougeau transitioned into this role during senior Robbie Gold’s powerful rendition of “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.”
The show took on a somber tone as Jesus taught the rest of the company about the sacrifices that needed to be made in order for the group to move forward. “Beautiful City,” performed by senior Terry Mullany, sophomore Kayla Silverman, and junior Declan Tellier highlighted hope for a better future with its slow and thoughtful lyrics.
The show climaxed with the “crucifiction,” during which Gold betrayed Rougeau in the role of Judas. After Judas chained Jesus to the fence, the rest of the ensemble watched, weeping. The agonizing grief from the scene was palpable in audience as they watched Rougeau’s stunning performance in “Finale.”
Despite the sad ending, the play concluded with a message of how even tragedy brings a community together. Once the worst possible thing had happened, the remaining ensemble gathered together to rebuild and heal, creating a “Beautiful City” for the community.
The cast did an exceptional job of presenting the classic themes and stories in “Godspell” while giving a fresh energy to them. The timeless message of unity and growth was prominent throughout the show, a message that is still relevant in society today. While the problems in our society may not be as easy to fix, “Godspell” shows that healing and unity is possible when people listen to one another and learn from their own mistakes.