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'Godspell' and The Filming of 'Godspell'

Year: 1973, 55 mins
Code: CAT-God

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This two-part documentary shows how stage values challenge the film director, and asks the question: "what is an adaptation?"

"Godspell", a musical based on the Gospel according to Matthew, updated and made riotously hip, was a hit of the 1971 off-Broadway season and toured widely. It was written by John-Michael Tebelak, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Excerpts performed here are by members of the original cast. The segments chosen illustrate the play's narrative technique and the use of lighthearted music and humor in serious themes.

The film dealt with the same material but in a totally different way. Director David Greene, working with the original creative team, used various New York City locations - but without any people in them -to emphasize the escape from the reality of a stage and as a metaphor for the universality of the themes of Jesus' parables.

This program shows how the film cast was chosen from the various stage casts, how they were rehearsed, the special choreography, and the new collaborative process.

John Musilli is a film director and has been nomitated for a Primetime Emmy Award.

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