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Day 4: About These Shows

I'm not around on Thursdays, so instead of talking about the kids, today I'll talk about the shows.

In the last camp, both the teens and preteens put on shows new to Stage Right students. In this camp, both shows are musicals Stage Right has successfully staged student productions of in the past, and they also happen to be two shows I love.

For those of you who are not familiar with them, I will give you a brief run-through.

Godspell, like Jesus Christ Superstar, is a musical about Jesus told through fun rock music. Unlike Superstar, which focuses on the narrative leading up to the Crucifixion, Godspell takes a more abstract approach and focuses on the various parables—stories with lessons—that Jesus tells throughout the Gospel.

Non-Christian actors and audience members need not worry, because Godspell is not a show that tries to "convert" anyone or preach that Christianity is the way to go. Director Tony Marino told the teens on the first day that the message is not of indoctrination, but of community: Jesus as the main character brings everyone together to celebrate their differences and work as one.

What's cool about Godspell is the freedom that comes with casting and staging. The characters, besides Jesus, Judas, John the Baptist, and some philosophers, are all unnamed, so every person plays themself. Also, because there are so many versions of the show, there will be a mix of music from folksy to jazzy to pop to rock. It is fun, inspiring, and philosophical throughout, and there are LITERALLY no small roles in this show.

Beauty and the Beast, of course, is based on the original 1991 Disney animated movie, and the Junior version is adapted to suit young actors. Of all the Disney princess-movie-to-musical shows, this one is my favorite. I love the way they adapted the story to fit the stage, and the added songs, in my opinion, are as good as or even better than the songs from the movie.

Belle, a pretty but eccentric girl living in a provincial French town, rescues her father from the hard-hearted Beast by taking his place as prisoner in his castle. This castle is full of enchanted household objects, who used to be human before an enchantress cursed them and the prince they served. Will Belle find her freedom? Will the enchanted objects become human again? Will the Beast learn to love? AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON MY MAN GASTON.

Junior shows, as shortened versions, cut songs and dialogue here and there so that the run time is roughly one to one-and-a-half hours long. Sadly, this often means good songs from the original show are not in the Junior version. However, you are in luck here, as the Beast's touching song "If I Can't Love Her" will be added back in to this production.

Now that you know a little bit about these shows, you should look forward even more to see them at the end of camp!

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