Review: Godspell at La Comedia Dinner Theatre

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Review: Godspell at La Comedia Dinner Theatre

Review: Godspell at La Comedia Dinner Theatre
Michael Woody
Friday, January 21, 2022

"Attending ‘Godspell’ at La Comedia is a rewarding experience on multiple levels." - Mike Woody

Review: Godspell at La Comedia Dinner Theatre

I once was blind, but now I see…the appeal of the musical ‘Godspell.’ I was hungry, but now I’m full, especially of sweet potato soufflé. Attending ‘Godspell’ at La Comedia is a rewarding experience on multiple levels. My mind, heart, and stomach all received fulfillment, but in a different manner than Chuck E. Cheese. ‘Godspell’ is a musical that delves into the good book to portray several parables very creatively. Even the most charismatic preachers, including those who breathe fire and brimstone could compete with the methods used in the show. 

It did take me awhile to get a grasp of what was happening on stage. The beginning is a little slow and potentially confusing, but the action certainly picks up. ‘Godspell’ is quick paced, with no scene changes, and the ever active cast are all on stage from beginning to end. The props department deserves recognition, as a mixture of odds and ends are used to visually enhance the parables in an entertaining way. 

Anyone playing the role of Jesus has big sandals to fill, and Montana Iverson is up to the task. The whole stage is in his hands, yet Iverson never even flinches. There’s no stone to cast upon his performance, only praise.  Whether distributing the sacraments, telling a Noah joke, or singing, Iverson is heavenly in every way.

Worthy of his own crown is Desmond Thomas. It’s not easy to equate yourself with a Savior, but Thomas’s performance pales to no one else’s. Other than the afore mentioned Jesus, the only other cast member who is named anything other than their real selves is Thomas, who plays John the Baptist and Judas. It’s a betrayal of one’s own best interests to deny themselves the opportunity to witness Thomas on stage.

If there were four gospels of La Comedia, Dylan Jackson would be a strong contender for one. Maybe Dylan 3:16 signs will start being held up at upcoming shows. He’s only previously appeared in ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Footloose,’ but has already made a lasting impression. His antics are appealing and has a strong stage presence. 

The Virgin Mary or perhaps more fitting is the Mother Mary of La Comedia is Karie-Lee Sutherland. She always delivers, and does so again. A few lucky gentleman in the audience may receive an up close and personal serenade from her. 

Perhaps the reason Ed Iverson appears so much at home on stage is because he’s surrounded by his actual family. His wife Becky plays…Becky and son Montana is Jesus. Ed makes his character, named…Can you guess it?...Ed, fun to watch. The rest of the talented cast, that are tireless in their efforts to entertain are Hannah Brown, Allison Gabert, Bridget Lorenz and Averi Turner.

Highlights include a parable acted out by shadows (behind a sheet) with an assortment of sound effects made from an assortment of objects. There’s also a round of charades, and portrayals of sheep/goats that aren’t baaaad. The show concludes with a moving rendition of the crucifixion. 

While not your typical musical, ‘Godspell’ is still enjoyable and provides a fresh look at some ancient parables. The meanings of which are as true today as they were way back before Covid, and even back when Jesus first told them. ‘Godspell’ continues through February 13.

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About Michael Woody

Michael Woody
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.