Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Validation Needed

2 out of 5 stars. That's what the reviewer at Nuvo gave Godspell. I can't find a link to the review, so I'll post it. It's really just a small blurb written in tiny print you practically need a magnifying glass to notice:
***** The Artist's Studio; directed by Rory Shivers. If you are going to see theatre at a strip mall in Fishers, remember that you are seeing theatre at a strip mall in Fishers. The Artist's Studio presentation of Godspell reworks this '60s era "family friendly musical: based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew in to a contemporary tale about a communtiy of believers and their understand of Jesus' teachings. Aversion to pop culture notwithstanding, this modernized telling is pretty clever and well-constructed. Just be ready for intrusions from a range of talk show hosts and one more reminder of where to find the best car insurance. However, the show frequently gets childish and exhibits about as much flavor as your would expect from, well, a strip mall in Fishers. The singing is generally weak, and it's made worse by the venue's poor aucostics. Like the original, the set is simple, and director Shivers and choreographer Trevor Bates used it to its potential. Ryan Metzgar, who plays Jesus, assumes that challenging role well enough and with good humor. Matt Gibson plays John the Baptist and Judas and manages to embody the latter's conflict with some skill (if you can get over Judas with a paunch and goatee).

Wow. That last statement just floors me. What the fuck does a little gut and a goatee matter in an already admittedly contemporary show? And exactly what does the physical location of a theatre have to do with the production itself? What especially ticks me off is that we know what night the reviewer came and we know he didn't see the whole show. Left at intermission. It couldn't possibly be because that was a bad night, was it? Not according to the rest of the audience who gave us a standing ovation.

In fact, this is the very first piece of negativity about the show. We have received nothing but high and very complimentary praise about the show from numerous credible sources. By credible sources, I mean people who have seen the show and are well-known and established in the Indy theatre community. I do not mean the "you were wonderful" and "The show was great" comments that fly through the audience directly after the show. The latter comments are nice, but don't mean jack since no one will ever tell you "damn that show sucked" immediately following the performance.

Here's a sample of the comments from the Indycallboard (all typos in these quotes are from the original author; therefore, you know I didn't alter them):
I went into it with low expectations, since the last 4 productions of Godspell I've seen, I've either fallen asleep during or left at intermission. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT TODAY! Rory should be commended on this show. It was phenomenal. He had such a talented cast. along with Trevor Bates' choreography and Jeremy Brimm's vocals, the show was absolutely wonderful. Their wasn't a weak moment throughout the entire show. - Jeremy C.

Godspell is about my favorite musical, and this troupe did it up well. We saw it Saturday, and Wendy and I were both impressed with Jeremy, both Trevor's acting and choreography, and Ryan's Jesus. And we were blown away by {ML's} singing. - John B. (Greenfield Reporter reviewer)

Godspell at Artist's Studio was wonderful. Since I didn't review that one, I'll gush here. The choreography was inspired and the quips were priceless. This is one of my favorite shows (second only to "A Chorus Line") and I thought it was the bast performance of the original script I've seen (There is a more modern update that shouldn't count in comparison). {ML's} voice makes me eager to see him in more productions and Trevor and Jeremy were fantastic as always. - Wendy C. (Above reviewer's wife)

I got to see TAS's production on Good Friday...there were probably only about 20 in attendance, I would say...but the cast put on a phenomenal show, nonetheless... I definitely recommend this show. - David T.

And finally:
For all of you that know me, you know I don't normallly gush about a show... But, "Godspell" at The Artist's studio deserves it, here is a little gushing for your Monday morning! I saw the show Yesterday (Easter Sunday) there was a small crowd but, we had a wonderful time. The cast gave us a show worthy of a crowd of thousands and they recieved a well deserved standing "O" for their efforts. We all know how tough that can be to get with a small house.

It hit me as I was watching the show... there in front of me preforming was the future of Indianapolis theater. The stage was filled with the city most talented young people.
- Jeff Angel

Those were all from theatre-folk. So, I'm really wondering what this Nuvo reviewer's credentials are. That and, who woulda guessed that I'm so shallow and vain as to need to blog about a one, single, small, not-so-great review (that doesn't even mention me specifically). Well apparently I am 'cause I'm going into shameless plug and promotion mode now...

Come see a wonderful production of "Godspell". Tickets are $15 for adults, $11 for children 12 and under. Visit The Artist's Studio's website for more details. Please, I beg you, come see this show. I need your validaiton. I'll be the one in the green hat and overalls. After the show, come up and introduce yourself. Tell me how much you enjoyed the performance, but only after we go out for drinks or email me about it later.

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