It should be said...I have not seen Godspell. But I do troll the Internet from time to time and had read some less than flattering buzz about the show. Couple that with the fact that I know very little about the source material (Yes, I AM talking about the New Testament. Bite me) and it was slowly slipping down my to do list for my great New York trip. But then I saw last night's televised performance and it totally changed my mind. It's back on the list. It's back on it hard.
Here's what was great about the Godspell performance:
A- They did a medley
I don't know any of these songs, but I kind of feel like I do now. And I know that there is more than one number that doesn't suck
B-Everyone got a moment in the sun
The best thing a show can do when performing on television is make you curious about the characters. That will hook you into getting your butt in a seat. By showcasing almost the entire cast, I was interested in all of these people and what their story is. Plus most of them can really sing, which is a nice departure from Glee-land (I'm sorry. Still scarred)
C-It felt like a Broadway show
Sometimes when a show performs on TV it tries to hard to be cool. They are the talk show's musical guest, after all, and thus tend to trying to present themselves as the Kanye West of musical theater. Kids, there is a reason Kanye West doesn't do Broadway. Broadway shouldn't try to do him. Embracing the fact that you are a show is a GOOD thing. It takes the audience to the world of your story and makes them want to be a part of it. Also, it feels genuine which means we can just sit back and enjoy the performance and not shift in out seats over the uncomfortable attempts to be cool.
D- It was fun.
Simply put, the cast looked like they were having a great time. Which makes you think you will too.
E- Hunter Parrish makes a pretty Jesus
I'm sure that this will sell the show, but it actually has nothing to do with the performance. I really just think that it needs to be said.
Check out the Godspell performance here:
There are a few other show performances on TV throughout the years that have sold the show really well.
Spring Awakening on The View used a great song (Touch Me) and showcased the beauty of the show while providing a teaser into the characters.
42nd Street's Lullaby of Broadway from the Tony's sums up everything great about going to see it:
Hair's Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In on Letterman combined the show's two most well know songs so create an Electric performance. It set the standard for Godspell:
And Ragtime's performance on The Rosie O'Donnell Show (the old one) showed how to showcase a big ensemble show in a small space.
These shows knew how to capture the essence of their show and give a killer performance. And they were all a hell of a lot more entertaining to watch than an episode of Glee.
Damn. There I go again....