Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Godspell’ celebrates 40th anniversary at Theatre and Interpretation Center

Thursday evening, Northwestern’s Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, will feature homeless apostles, cardboard boxes and Jesus Christ as it hosts the opening night of the musical production “Godspell,” presented by the Theatre and Interpretation Center.

The 40th anniversary production will involve a contemporary interpretation of the musical, directed by Dominic Missimi, executive director of the American Music Theater Project.

“Every production of ‘Godspell’ has a quality that’s special because the script is so wide open,” Missimi said. “It encourages you to do lots of things with the varying parables. Where I think my production might have a departure is that it is a contemporary setting.”

The 13-person cast will perform “Godspell” in an urban atmosphere amidst makeshift buildings, putting a contemporary twist on the New Testament and the Gospel according to Matthew.

“Throughout the play, the characters discover that Jesus is their shelter, Jesus is their home,” Missimi said.

For the cast, it is the people involved who make the show worth seeing, according to rising junior Chris Herr, who plays the role of Jesus in the production.

“That’s what ‘Godspell’ is about, forming that community and creating that group of 12 to 13 people to be bonded and so close together,” Herr said.

While he typically produces new musicals, Missimi embraced the opportunity to work on this version of “Godspell” during the past three weeks.

“I wanted our summer to be involved with family,” Missimi said. “This is turning to a musical that was done 40 years ago, and I was happy to do it because I think it’s kind of a family show.”

After the July 9 performance, Broadway producer Ken Davenport will conduct a “talkback” with audience members entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know About Broadway But Were Afraid to Ask,” which is free of charge to the public.

“I think Broadway is sometimes thought of as this mythical, magical place, like Brigadoon, that no one knows how to get to or what actually happens there,” Davenport said. “So what I do is tell a little about how I started on Broadway and how I got into it, then take general questions from the audience.”

Davenport will be producing the first Broadway show of “Godspell” in 40 years, featuring an in-the-round performance at Circle In The Square beginning on Oct. 13. The show starts its official run Nov. 7.

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Godspell’ celebrates 40th anniversary at Theatre and Interpretation Center