By the end of the evening, GODSPELL had the audience on its feet and cheering. Footlighters production is energetic, colorful, and inclusive. An ensemble production, each member of the cast is important, and the voices, both in a group and when heard individually, are strong. Director Melody Dougherty and Music Director Rich Lewis work with a static yet vivid set that allows us to glimpse and appreciate the musicians, but truly allows the players to shine. Whether you have seen GODSPELL a hundred times, or this is your first experience with this musical, you are sure to leave the theater smiling.
Anchoring GODSPELL is Robert Lewis as Jesus. Lewis is a young actor and completely endearing in this pivotal role. He is confident and warm, a gentle and persuasive beacon. When he speaks or sings, the eyes of the other actors, and the audience, are naturally drawn towards him. Doubling as John the Baptist and Judas Iscariot, Sean McDermott is hypnotic in both roles. Fans of the musical’s most well known song, “Day By Day”, will not be disappointed. Soloist Laisha Torres is a little woman with a powerful voice and a heartfelt delivery. Other highlighted singers include Christy Fleshman, Vanessa Turchi, Sydney Wallace, Danielle Lachall, Isiah Shubert, Daniel McDevitt and Zach Workman. Each actor has embraced their character and delivers their song beautifully and with enthusiasm. Shubert character is something of a clown and he delights the audience with his comic delivery. Lachall was also an audience favorite, sharing both an emotional song and a touch of current event comedy. And in this show that highlights diversity and love for all, Zach Workman’s rainbow gloriously glowed.
The material, the staging, and the appeal of the performers invited the audience right into the show, and the audience leapt right in. At various points, audience members are pulled into the action and each of them felt like a part of the cast. Audience member, Avery, was brought up on stage and fit right in with an especially impressive collapse on command. Avery, if you’re reading this, come audition next time!
Rounding out the cast, Yagel Cabrera, Tracy Flynn, Abby Scott, Erica Shadowsong, Molly Stuber and Sydney Wallace were essential players, contributing to all the choreography and ensemble numbers. There were no “extras” in this cast.
GODSPELL runs through April 15th, evening performances at 8pm, Sunday matinees at 2pm. Footlighters Theater, 58 Main Street, Berwyn PA 19312 (610) 296-9245
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Disclosure: Anne is associated with Footlighters but her only involvement with this production has been box office assistance.