This is from a great email newsletter put out by Roger Gonzalez who has been in a bunch of RTC shows. Subscribe if you want to be up to date in community and regional theater in your neighborhoods. LocalTheatreNY.com
Memo From the RTC: The Road to Godspell – The Cast
I popped into a rehearsal of Godspell at the RTC – the set is magnificent but if I reveal details I’d have to kill you – and had a chance to talk to some of the cast, led by Matt Smilardi as Jesus and John Panepinto playing dual roles as John the Baptist and Judas. Well, actually, Matt and John were doing other things so I didn’t speak to them but I did to Renee Steadman, Jackie Samaha, Michelle Ricciardi and Stephen Ryan, all of whom are playing Jesus disciples. “When my friends ask me what the show is about, it’s the parable of Jesus before the crucifixion set to rock music. Right, that’s normal,” said Michelle, making her RTC debut. The show is “carefree and vampy”, said Renee, also an RTC first-timer. Jackie thinks the music is great and loves how everyone works together. Steve, who has never seen the show, which is based on book of Matthew, is excited at Gabrielle Mangano’s choreography. “Gabby is no joke,” he said, “there are pyramids, cheerleading stuff, jumping on and off sets during dancing. If you can’t do it – well, we’re expected to do it.” Director Frank Caiati has staged a very fast moving show. Each character get to do a solo that enhances the parable – with the support of the rest of the cast singing 4 or 5 part harmony. The songs provide the flow of show. And Frank is encouraging the actors to ad lib. “We have freedom and space to act,” said Steve. “So if I came to see show on a Friday – it might be a bit different the next day,” I asked? They all nodded their heads.
I’ll try to catch up with the rest of the cast– Chazmond J. Peacock, Matt Leonen, Karen Mascolo and Nicole Mangano – in a follow-up interview in future columns.
Godspell runs at the Rockaway Theatre Company Sept. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 at 8:00pm and Sept. 14, 21, 28 at 2:00pm. Tickets can be ordered by calling 718-374-6400 or by visiting www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org