By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Now that the cold weather appears to be gone for a while, the musical “Godspell” will soon be coming to town. That’s probably quite fitting, since the story’s main themes are about warm things such as love and compassion.
The North Andover High School Drama Guild has been working overtime for the last several weeks to perfect their lines and moves for the masterpiece written by composer Stephen Schwartz and playwright John-Michael Tebelak.
“Godspell” will be presented in the high school auditorium May 17 at 7 p.m.; May 18 at 1:30 and 7 p.m.; and May 19 at 2 p.m.
Mark Fuller, a senior who has already been accepted at Berklee College of Music and is considering a career in musical therapy, has the main role: Jesus Christ.
“It’s a role that’s very interesting,” he said. “I’m really excited.” He noted he has some “huge shoes to fill.” After all, millions of people believe his character is divine.
Also, an actor playing the lead role is always under tremendous pressure to excel.
Fuller, however, is no stranger to vocal performing, which will be his major at Berklee. He just finished playing Moritz in Acting Out’s production of “Spring Awakening.”
Kyle McAdam, a junior, has the role of Judas Iscariot — the “bad guy” who betrayed Jesus. While his friend is playing the role of someone loved and adored by huge numbers of people, he has the part of a man who is despised by most folks.
McAdam, who said he is thinking about majoring in theater but may pursue learning in political science and/or environmental studies, said his character encounters issues that “we deal with on a daily basis.”
Both McAdam and Fuller pointed out that while “Godspell” is based on the Gospel of Matthew, it’s not a religious play. Yet many of the values expressed in the performance — love, kindness, forgiveness — go hand in hand with spirituality, they noted.
“This story has a lot to do with love,” McAdam said. Linda Schoonmaker, the director and drama coach who chose “Godspell,” wanted the students to perform a work with a positive message about love, caring and community, he said.
Colleen Arnold is a senior, but she is choreographing her second Drama Guild production. Like Fuller and McAdam, she predicted “an awesome show.”
Arnold, who has been dancing since she was 3, choreographed the Drama Guild’s highly successful interpretation of “Legally Blonde” last year. With slightly more than a week to go until the first show, Arnold said the cast is well on track to pulling off a top-notch performance — even though some of the actors don’t have any dancing experience.
Tickets bought before show time are $15 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets sold at the door will cost $18 for adults, $12 for students and senior citizens.
To buy tickets, call 978-794-1711, extension 51195; or visit www.nahsgodspellbrownpapertickets.com.