That first cast numbered 10, including 15-year-old Kathy Mattea, a Nitro High School student and future country music star.
"Kathy was the youngest member of the cast and one of three actors who came back when we revived the show the next year at the Light Opera Guild workshop on the East End," Pasinetti said.
And while that first show wasn't really an official guild production, it did inspire the creation of annual summer productions.
Those early summer shows, Pasinetti said, weren't especially easy.
"It was pretty bare-bones," she said. "The workshop didn't have a proper stage or air conditioning; it's nothing like what we have now."
But they've since flourished, thanks in part to the kids who keep turning up and the continued support of Betty Schoenbaum, who began sponsoring the summer shows after she went to a production of "A Chorus Line" in 1999.
Because of the size and scope of the shows over the past decade and a half, Pasinetti said, the guild has been able to take performances to the Civic Center Little Theater, the Culture Center and even the Clay Center. But for the revival of this particular show, Pasinetti said, they wanted to use the guild's small theater on Tennessee Avenue.
"Godspell needs to be in an intimate setting," she said. "It needs to be up close and personal."
Pasinetti said the story, which was updated on Broadway a few years ago, is still basically the same as it was in 1974. It's a re-telling of Biblical parables, mostly taken from the Gospel of Matthew, but presented with modern music.
"It gets compared to 'Hair,' but it's nothing like 'Hair,'" she said. "It just happened to come out in a similar time."
She described it as joyous re-telling of the Christ story, but with lots of ideas that would appeal to people who followed other faiths. She thought the updates to the music were improvements -- that after 40-plus years, "Godspell" was due for a facelift -- but acknowledged that die-hard fans would have to make up their own minds.
Still, she said, the anniversary production is a big event, and to help celebrate it, a dozen performers from the "Godspell" shows in 1974 and 1975 will return to attend Friday night's show -- including Mattea, who will speak before the show and is being honored by the guild.
"Not everyone could make it back for the show," Pasinetti said, "but we've got a lot of people coming. I think it's going to be a really great event."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.