A Musical Based on the Gospel
Godspell is a musical composed by the brilliant mind of Stephen Schwarts and John-Michael Tebelak. The show made its first off-Broadway debut way back in 1971. And, it has since been produced and revived by multiple touring companies. The most recent revival of Godspell ran on Broadway from October 2011 through June 2012.
The musical is mostly showcasing the different parables that are found in the Gospel of Matthew. Some of the parables of the Gospel of Luke are also showcased. In addition, there is also a narrative about Jesus and the woman taken in adultery found in the Gospel of John. In the first place, the songs are not your typical musical-esque songs. Rather, they are structured in like manner with traditional hymns and songs of praise.
The show features eight non-Biblical characters, who sing and act out the parables.
Listen to this amazing medley from the whole show!
Bridging the Gap Between The Book and The Stage
The name “Godspell” is actually the origin of what we commonly use: gospel. It is actually an Anglo-Saxon word that means “good story.” Its origins are actually the Greek word euangelion, which also means “a reward for bringing good news” or “good news” itself.
This reminds me of the good news that we always receive when attending mass. The lively energy of mass is miraculously embodied in the musical. And, if that isn’t a sign that says that God is using this to give us good news, I don’t know what is.
There is this weird notion that songs of praise are only in a set, rigid structure, and other means and songs of praise are considered heresy or invalid. The mere fact that the word of God has been branching out and has been thriving in musicals and shows like this makes me think that there is more than just the confines of the traditional scripture. The word of God being embodied in a medium that can spread it further is truly awe-inspiring.