Chattanooga State Theatre Department's 10-member "Godspell" cast will take the stage at Signal Crest United Methodist Church April 17 at 7 p.m. for an abbreviated version of the Broadway hit. The event is free and open to the public.
"The musical 'Godspell' is the life of Christ leading up to his crucifixion," said Signal Crest director of music Allan A. Ledford. "They will do selections and scenes from the musical during Holy Week. I think it will be a wonderful way to draw attention to what Holy Week is all about. To have it presented in musical form will be exciting."
"Godspell" is a musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The musical talks about parables taken from scripture.
Rex Knowles, who is directing the performance with his wife Sherry Landrum, Knowles said the cast will perform "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," "God Save the People" and "All Good Gifts," ending with "Joyful." The production shows the last moments of Jesus leading up to the crucifixion such as the Last Supper.
"To me the show is a great way to share scripture," said Knowles. "The ending is a crucifixion, but for me it is a resurrection."
• The musical was conceived and directed by John-Michael Tebelak as a thesis project at Carnegie Mellon in 1970 with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The musical became one of the longest-running off-Broadway musicals, with 2,124 performances. "Godspell," which won a Grammy award for Best Score from an Original Cast Album, features the popular "Day By Day," "All For the Best" and "All Good Gifts" choruses.
• Signal Crest United Methodist Church is located at 1005 Ridgeway Ave. To learn more call Signal Crest UMC at 886-2330.
Knowles said he and his wife toured with the musical's Broadway production, performing in 500 shows with the 8th National Company of "Godspell."
"We toured the United States for a year," he said. "One of the most exciting times of the tour was playing the Tivoli Theatre here in Chattanooga. We then joined the San Francisco company and participated in the 10th anniversary production in Los Angeles with many of the original cast members."