Does a folk-rock musical staged in a relatively small theatre need a headset microphone on every singer? Many of us who treasure Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak’s Godspell would say no. This youthful production is well-sung, exuberant and has effective moments, but it’s over-busy, over-broad and over-loud, blasting away with almost no dramatic subtlety or intimacy (and too much microphone crackle). The gentle whimsy and hippie innocence of the 1971 original are lost.
The 90-minute show is based on biblical teachings, but the cluttered set has no clear intention and fails to create a sacred theatrical space. The choreography mainly consists of strung-together boppy moves that are perhaps intentionally cheesy, but in Day by Day are unforgivably inappropriate. (The Bump? Seriously?)
Preppy-looking Robert Piche, a fine singer, is miscast as Jesus. He lacks the requisite charisma, gravitas and otherness. Overall, while numbers such as All For the Best and By My Side come off reasonably well, there’s a lack of depth here that will disappoint many fans of the flower-child classic.
— Alison Mayes