Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Godspell at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Center Theatre, closes December 11 

Godspell Dunsi Dai has outdone himself, constructing an entire St. Louis street as the set for Mustard Seed Theatre's production of Godspell, complete with dilapidated storefronts and litter. Here the rag man Jesus (J. Samuel Davis) gathers his disciples and attempts a Paul McKee-scale renovation (though this savior chooses to build his kingdom on the souls of willing participants rather than leveling the block and erecting new construction). Director Deanna Jent illustrates this rebirth through the simple and evocative act of personal exchange: Place a possession in Jesus' shopping cart; help yourself to a garment from his stash. The first act has a relaxed, almost improvised vibe, as the cast performs the musical parables with sharp comic timing and real fervor. Davis presides over all with a huge-hearted benevolence; the only mote in his eye is the zealous Judas (Charlie Barron), whose hard-line methods are countered with gentle reproval. The inevitable betrayal reveals the power of both actors: As his followers surround him singing "By My Side," Jesus sees Judas approach from his right and cross the stage with a menacing glower. Davis unwaveringly returns the glare, but the sorrow that floods his face as Barron completes his passage from dexter to sinister is unmistakable. No words are spoken, but the tragedy is there in Davis' eyes, along with forgiveness. Through December 11 at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Center Theatre, 6800 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students and seniors). Call 314-719-8060 or visit — Paul Friswold

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation