The local stars of the Algonquin Youth Ensemble bring to life timeless tales of friendship, loyalty and love with performances of “Godspell” on August 1, 2 and 3.
Ranging in age from 14 to 20, the cast rocks the score with chart topping songs and a book by a visionary playwright (John-Michael Tebelak) to continue the tradition of “Godspell” being a sensation that has touched audiences worldwide.
The role of Jesus Christ will be played by Kevin Thrower of Neptune and Judas will be played by Eddie Rogers of Long Branch. The remaining feature roles are played by Matt Giunco of Manasquan, Gianna Grandinetti, Emily Latshaw and Jake Walsh of Wall, Olivia Coniglio of Brick, Victoria Cancro of Brielle, Luke Pearlberg of Brielle, Mikey Friedman of Freehold, Rebecca Madeira of Howell, and Nicole Curnan of Toms River.
The talented ensemble includes Bianca D’Anton, Ally DeForge and Ally Nudo of Manasquan; Aidan Dougherty, James Finnegan and Kerielle Sollecito of Brielle; Ryan Alger of Wall; Mackenzie Malpass and Jillian Moran of Pt. Pleasant Beach; Jake Coniglio, AnnieRose DiMurro and Fiona Sheridan of Brick; Thomas Chadwick of Colts Neck; Maria Utz of Farmingdale; Danny Scerbo of Freehold; Hannah Fyfe, Jada Sanchez and Tommy Taylor of Howell; Siobhan Jones of Millstone and Jaclyn Fraser of Morris Plains.
“Godspell” is co-directed by Julie Nagy, the Algonquin’s Education Director, and Ian Moore. Musical direction is by John Watson with choreography by Casey Abel. Tommy Fletcher of Wall is the stage manager, while Maeve Oldham of Brick and Mia Sanchez of Brick are the production interns.
Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, “Godspell” is the first major musical theatre offering from Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin”) it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit, “Day By Day,” this musical features a parade of beloved songs including “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All For The Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”
The cast helps Jesus Christ tells different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs ranging in style from pop to vaudeville is employed as the story of Jesus’s life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’s messages of kindness, tolerance, and love come vibrantly to life.
The Friday and Saturday performances on August 1 and 2 are at 8 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on August 3 at 3 p.m. Regular seating is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students. A limited quantity of premium seating is available for $5 more. Purchase online at algonquinarts.org, by calling 732-528-9211 or by stopping in to the Box Office at 173 Main Street from 12-6 p.m. on weekdays or 12-4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are subject to $2 processing fees.
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.