Perhaps in keeping with the inclusive message of the Gospel, uh, sorry, Godspell, we were a remarkably diverse bunch - young, not-so-young, tall, short, thin, not-so-thin, dancers, actors, at least one writer (moi), teachers, all sorts. One woman had flown in from San Diego, another was there with her daughter, a man I met named Patrick had come in from Phoenix.
|Rehearsing for the Godspell flash mob event.|
Our choreographer, Nancy Renee Braun, put us through the four sections of the piece, along with some professional dancers starting things off and punctuating some transitions. What a motivated crowd we were, clapping after we successfully executed every succession of eight-counts. It occurred to me that working in theater is like being in perpetual high school, but with grownup requirements such as reliability, leadership, teamwork and persuasiveness.
There was much talk about how the event was in keeping with Godspell's message of love and joy and community, but one of our dance captains stepped in it a little when she said the musical "isn't religious." Well, I'm not particularly evangelical, but in the interest of accuracy, yes, it actually is. What's regrettable is that Jesus has been used as a bludgeon rather than an inspiration so many times. The Christian message - love God, love thy neighbor - needs no apology, and maybe Godspell is a vehicle that makes it simple and clear.
|Just before the flash mob|
Spectators were already waiting to see what might go on in the space when a lone girl walked into the center and blew a couple of long notes on a bugle. Our dancers started their joyful swoops around the space to "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," then we mobbers seemed to flow out of the crowd to "Day by Day." Then, whoosh, the beat started rocking and we started hopping. Halfway through, we took off our jackets and bloomed into a sea of red Godspell t-shirts. You can see it here
There are a couple of other videos on YouTube, taken by people on their phones. My favorite overheard line from a woman chatting to her companion as they film: "This looks rehearsed." I'll say! As we picked up our jackets and walked away, a woman asked me, "What's Godspell?" I answered, "The 70s rock musical, based on the Book of Matthew."
Now, I'm off to get the Advil. I'd do it again - in a flash.