CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Light Opera Guild's revival of the musical "Godspell" is nothing shy of miraculous.
And the Guild's workshop space on Tennessee Avenue couldn't be a more perfect location to put on such a manifestation. A former church, the space helps set the mood for spiritual transcendence interspersed with mirth and humor.
The updated music is a blissful mix of Broadway style and revival-like praise and worship. It's -- all at once -- enticing, uplifting, emotional and entertaining.
Company numbers like "Save the People," "Light of the World" and "All for the Best" are bursting with life and flavor. The colorful costumes, the simple, but effective props and exciting choreography make for a delightful evening.
A simple chain-link fence and a few moveable benches are all the backdrop needs to transcend time and bring scriptural stories to life for the next generation of theatergoers.
There's a lot of crowd participation, which adds to the cozy intimacy of the production. The cast frequently sings and dances in the aisle and in front of the stage, interacting with the crowd. Audience members are brought up on stage to play games and have refreshments during intermission.
The modernized script and score are a perfect bridge from the original show, with timely pop-culture references juxtaposed against language from the King James Bible. It is suitable for all ages and religious backgrounds.
The ensemble cast is superb, shifting from character to character in vignette re-enactments of New Testament parables.