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what did you add to your production, or have you seen added? 
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Fresh Face
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:28 pm
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Post Re: what did you add to your production, or have you seen ad
In both productions I've been in, completely different things were added.

The first didn't stray to much from the script besides allot of the pop culture references, for instance the Prodigal Son was done up like the Simpsons, so we changed the theme (instead of the looney tunes theme suggested in the script) and as the equivalent to Herb I had to do aTroy Maclure impression for the narrator and Homer 'Doh!'. We also added a nice little bit in All for the Best where Jesus danced on 'water' with Judas trying but failing.

The second there was much more ablibbing (the director didn't take the script as seriousely and cut some little things) and some good jokes got put through (Abraham: Angels do you mind? I'm trying to have a long distance conversation over here. or Older son: and ....you killed Henry! (The fatted calf) Father: First of all, Henry had it coming...)).


Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:56 pm
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Broadway Legend
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Post Re: what did you add to your production, or have you seen ad
Well, it's perhaps here that I may begin to articulate what was going on with the only all-black production in the show's history, which ran in Harlem in the late Nineties and was a critical and (minor) financial success in spite of ignorance of the show's existence by New York's major dailies. I am grateful and honored to possess a video tape of this production, and to be working at present with its director/dramaturge. We hope one day to revive this idea for both Harlem (where it really popped, because Jesus is, to say the least, very powerful and very real to the black community) and Broadway.

Arrangements: As is typical with an "urban adaptation" (PC term for all-black cast), the score was rethought and rearranged completely (by the director's late wife, a talented woman who was in a class by herself as an arranger), to reflect both the score's strong gospel influences, and also the current wave of popular cutting-edge black music formats (hip-hop, rap, R&B). It was one of the first major live productions to include Schwartz's new lyrics for "Beautiful City" as well.

Setting and Framework: 21st Century Harlem, in a church basement with the stained glass and high ceilings where parishioners rehearse for the annual community variety show (or church play). Soon a ragged homeless man wanders in -- guess who -- who inspires all of the participants to strive to "see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly..." (For those who couldn't follow the rather obvious hint, yes, folks, it was played as the literal Second Coming. There was a beautiful moment in the staging when the homeless person discloses himself as Christ during "Prepare Ye" where, as the director puts it, "the Rapture occurs." Jesus touches each person in the ensemble, who is then caught up in religious ecstasy, rapture if you will, disseminating his "wonder magic," and Judas is the last. Very much in the manner of Michelangelo's ceiling fresco.)

Among other things, portions of the book were rearranged to make the story more linear. Act One included "Beautiful City" near its opening and closed with "All Good Gifts," Act Two opened with "Light of the World" minus the "law and the prophets" chant (which reappeared later in quite a different context), among other changes to the show. The overall result, combined with everything above, was essentially Godspell via Tyler Perry and other black theater modes.

How Did He Die?: At the conclusion, Jesus was shot by the police, a la Amadou Diallo or the Sean Bell murder in Jamaica, Queens, a few years back.

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Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:24 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: what did you add to your production, or have you seen ad
I just finished up a production last night, and it's one of the two best I've ever done. Audiences LOVED everything we put in! (And we had some hardcore Godspell fans in the audience).

We had a LOT of pop culture references. Our tax gatherer and Pharisee were Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and Buddy the Elf (I was Hannah.) Buddy "ate sugar plums and went ice skating twice a week," and exulted herself by being "in a show...AND I'M SINGING," while Hannah started off her prayer with "Sweet niblets!" and humbled herself by having Jesus take off her wig for all the cast and audience to see that "it's Miley!" The servant whose debt ran into the millions was Lindsay Lohan. Charlie Sheen was taking a gift to the altar (complete with a tiger blood reference). The man who served two masters was "dubbed over" in a Godzilla-esque karate-movie way. The rich man and Lazarus featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as the rich man and the Cake Boss as Abraham. Before Arnold was in torment, Lazarus sang "Red Robinnn..." and all the demons joined in with a hearty "Yumm!" In the "deal out to others..." segmant, we had an abuse chain, and the last person to hit someone pantomimed pointing a wand and yelled "stupefy!" The monologue before "Bless the Lord" was done as Butters from South Park. Oh, and Snookie and the Situation made an appearance. Our director let us run amok a little :)

We also had a few local/Philly jokes. For example, in the Good Samaritan, our script went something like:
Judge: Ordah, ordah!
Injured Man: Uh, I wanna cheesesteak with uh....a side ordah o' band-aids!
Judge: wit or witout?

But the crowning moment came during the Prodigal Son. Our prodigal son was Spongebob, who was quitting his job at the Krusty Krab to "live a carefree life among the jellyfish" so he needed his share of the Krusty Krab fortune. Mr. Krabs was the father, and Squidward was the elder son. Patrick appeared as the servant who tells the elder son that the younger son is back. It was the craziest, strangest, best parable we did. Despite the fact that 'Spongebob' almost killed someone with his spatula every night, it was a great moment in the show. We had some fun!

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Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:30 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: what did you add to your production, or have you seen ad
We took the show from it's hippie set up in a city to a show choir classroom, being taught lessons. Jesus is referred to as "Teacher" in the first act then as the second act begins he becomes Jesus. We also are dressed in simple black and grey with our props and stage as our use of color. The only member of the cast in color is Jesus. We omitted the use of face painting as a marker and we are given scarves. Each a different color and worn differently. For instance mine is tied around my waist. We have full dances for Turn Back Old Man, Save the People, Light of The World, We Beseech Thee, Prologue/Tower of Babble and Day By Day. For the baptism, we are given a bottle of water. We also only casted 10 people for the cast. All vocals are harmonies are split among us. I sing a harmony part alone for By My Side and of course it's the moving part. It's a blast!


Sat May 21, 2011 10:12 pm
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