On with the show... the modern-day version of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, at Struthers

Photo submitted to Times Observer Clockwise: Logan Beard, Bethany Chapman, Beth Ruth, Amanda Johnson, Kelsey Angove, Matthew Scott, Rick Nelson, Allan Branthoover, Catherine Hayes, Chelsey Burkett, Corey Bailey and Dawn Sears (center).

“Overture, curtains, lights, this is it, the night of nights.

No more rehearsing and nursing a part. We know every part by heart.

Overture, curtains, lights, this is it; you’ll hit the heights.

And oh what heights we’ll hit. On with the show this is it.”

— Irving Berlin

This is it…Warren Players proudly presents the musical Godspell on May 4-6, 2017 at 7 p.m. and May 7, 2017, at 2 p.m. at Struthers Library Theatre, 302 West Third Avenue in downtown Warren.

Godspell is a modern-day version of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, opening with John the Baptist (Matthew Scott) calling an impressionable group of rag-a-muffins from their workday lives to follow and learn from Jesus (Logan Beard). They form a loving and caring community that enacts a series of parables through song and dance, comedy, and mime. Jesus’ ministry ends with a last supper, His crucifixion in an alley, and, His resurrection.

According to the Director Randy J. Baughman, “It has truly been a pleasure directing the Warren Players production of Godspell. This is my fourth adventure in directing this show in addition to playing Lamar while I was in college. To me, the story is spiritually uplifting, the characters relatable; and the music still leaves a smile on my face. I have enjoyed transforming this cast of Godspell, and challenging them to put their own unique stamp on it.”

“My hope is that Godspell can create for you a retreat from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. Much like the characters in the show, we get so caught up in the rush of our lives that we either don’t hear God when He speaks to us or in some instances we hear but choose not to listen. Each time I watch the show, I am reminded of the value of being a part of community and working together to “sing about love” to all that I meet. I am reminded that through God’s grace we can ALL experience transformation and become better versions of ourselves.”

Baughman continues, “I have been blessed to work with such talented, witty, caring, and dedicated individuals in the Godspell cast and crew. I am confident that the community and the relationships that we have formed will shine through as we share the good news of the love, tolerance and compassion of Jesus Christ with you.”

“In these times when it seems our country is divided, Godspell reminds us that hate is NOT the answer. Perhaps if we could just all learn to “remove that speck of sawdust from our own eye so that we can see clearly to remove it from our brother’s eye” and learn to love our neighbors as ourselves, the world would be a much better place.”

Godspell was first presented Off-Broadway in 1971. Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak and featuring a tuneful score by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell was a monster hit when it opened over 40 years ago, running more than 2,000 performances. The show moved from Off-Broadway to Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater on June 22, 1976 and ran for 527 performances. A movie version came out in 1973. The show has such great songs as “Day by Day,” “Bless the Lord,” and Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.”

Directing the show is Randy J. Baughman and the Music Director is Julie Baughman. The Choreographer is Sue Spencer and the Stage Manager is Lisa To. The Costuming is done by the cast with the guidance of Charmaine Check and her costuming crew. Barb Crowley heads up the lighting team, with help from Linda Morgan, Ross Bryan, and Scott Shriner. The show’s Production Manager Lou Cable, Prop Mistress Margaret Morrison, and Sound Designer Jen Dilks round out the talented crew.

Cast members include: Logan Beard (Jesus), Matthew Scott (John the Baptist/Judas), Dawn Sears, Allan Branthoover, Chelsey Burkett, Kelsey Angove, Corey Bailey, Beth Ruth, Bethany Chapman, Catherine Hayes, Amanda Johnson, and Rick Nelson. The onstage band includes Julie Baughman-Lead Keyboard, Fran Leto-Keyboard, Joeseph Glarner-Lead Guitar, Christopher EI-Guitar, Ellen Scalise-String Bass, and Cody Pacheo-Percussion. Rounding out the group is the onstage choir consisting of Beverly Petersen, LouAnn Saeli, Beth MacPherson, Karin Davidson, Darla Sabat, Khlare Bracken, and Karen Conarro.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for students/seniors, age 5 and under are free. For more information or to buy tickets call the Struthers’s Library Theatre Box Office at 814-723-7231 or go to www.strutherslibrarytheatre.com.