Entertainment

Betrayal, love and commitment basis for musical

The musical Godspell is in rehearsals and the performance dates are two weekends in April. This is the spring production by Sooke Harbour Players and features a talented cast of 18. - Pirjo Raits
The musical Godspell is in rehearsals and the performance dates are two weekends in April. This is the spring production by Sooke Harbour Players and features a talented cast of 18.
— image credit: Pirjo Raits

They come from all walks of life and have one particular thing in common, they are singers and they love to perform.

Director Steve Anderson said the cast and chorus is a mixture of Sooke people with long-term experience as musicians, singers and choir and also includes a member of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. They are landscapers and investment advisors, trades people and everything in-between, a real Sooke mix.

The newest production from the Sooke Harbour Players is Godspell, a musical by Stephen Schwartz and from a book by John-Michael Tebelak. It’s been a Broadway staple since 1971 and the latest version from 2011 is the inspiration for the local production. Godspell productions have toured around the world from London to Australia, the United Kingdom to Toronto. In Sooke it hits the stage at Edward Milne community theatre on April 4, 5, 6 and April 11, 12 and 13.

“A lot of our sound and singing is inspired by the 2011 Broadway production which includes Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame,” said Anderson.

The players have been in rehearsal since early February and they are now in “fumble through” runs, he said. “It means we are tuning up things as we go along, it’s the full run but it’s not perfect.”

The term “fumble through” was coined by veteran musician/actor/singer Thom Southwood, said Anderson.

The cast is indeed running through the scenes and songs. The cast of 11 includes Thom Southwood as Jesus, Leighanne Georgeson as John the Baptist and Steven Anderson as Judas. The remainder of the talent includes eight other lead roles and eight in the chorus.

Godspell, said Anderson, is not so much about religion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ as it is about friendship and love. Godspell was recommended by producer Christine McGuiness. Leighanne Georgeson is the assistant musical director and plays the role of John the Baptist. She shares duties with Paul Holmes, who is a veteran improv actor.

Godspell is a musical with a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew. The parables are interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, It started off as a student project, moved to Greenwich Village and then onto Broadway. People will recognize many of the songs as they have made their way into thepublic ear and include Day by Day and By My Side.

Tickets are available at the EMCS box office, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Stick, East Sooke Grocer and General Store and at Serious Coffee in Langford.

Tickets are $15 and it is an all-ages show.

Sooke Harbour Players Society is a non-profit theatre company located in Sooke, B.C. 
It was founded in 1982 as “Stage West Players,” and changed its name to

“Sooke Harbour Players Players Society” in 2010.

Over the past 30 years, Sooke Harbour Players has entertained the people of Sooke 
and the surrounding communities with first-rate musical theatrical productions such as

Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

They also perform dinner theatre shows and occassional drama and comedy productions. More information on the Sooke Harbour Players can be found at: www.facebook.com/SookeHarbourPlayers.

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