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September 15, 2010 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Producer Ken Davenport announces he will be "crowd-funding" an upcoming Broadway revival of the musical Godspell.

Units of investment will sell for $100 each, with a ten-minimum unit. Playbill .com reports: All investors names will appear on a poster placed outside the theatre as well as on the website PeopleOfGodspell.com along with their photos, hometowns, personal quotes and links to their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (25 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This revival has been in the works for years, even scheduled with a theatre once and advertised in the Times. It'll be interesting to see if this works.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on September 15, 2010


He can't find a high school drama club willing to do it for the millionth time?
posted by briank at 10:11 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see if this works.

I guess they'll just have to take things... day by day. Ehn? Ehn?

I got nothin'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, personally, after doing a huge amount of community theater, Godspell is perhaps the ONLY show that I would instantly, today, right now, drop everything and work on a production of if there were one happening in my neck of the woods. It's pure theater, fantastic songs, presents Jesus through the Gospel of Matthew (mostly through parables) in his most wonderful form (love and peace and work for the poor and sick), and it's SO MUCH FUN TO DO!

I wish I had $1000 to contribute to the cause, actually.
posted by hippybear at 10:13 AM on September 15, 2010


I wish I had $1000 to contribute to the cause, actually.

Get together a small group of friends/acquaintances/MeFites, come up with an amusing name worthy of being immortalized on a poster, and donate as a group?
posted by bettafish at 10:25 AM on September 15, 2010


But only if you REALLY BELIEVE in this show... There are reasons why this guy has been unable to fund this thing for so long - no producer in their right mind would put their investors money into it, It's so exhaustively overexposed, i can't imagine its prospects at $100 a seat are very good. It is also, not coincidentally, SUPPOSED to be the antithesis of a "Broadway muscial" - costumes from a trunk, less than a dozen performers, and that sort of thing. It would be like dumping The Fantastiks down in the middle of the Winter Garden stage and expecting people to pay top dollar when big, glitzy, familiar-movie-based monstrosities are camped out on every street corner.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 10:34 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Would this be an appropriate place to confess (ha!) that I don't know the difference between Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar? Godspell is the one in Wet Hot American Summer, right?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:46 AM on September 15, 2010


Oh, I dunno... The revival of Hair last year was overwhelmingly successful. It's pretty much an equivalent musical in a lot of ways -- comes from the same era, shares the same hippie ethos, etc. In some ways, it should be even less likely for a successful revival, as it's so firmly tied to a specific time and era (Vietnam War).

I think people will pay to see quality theater from any era, as long as it is well executed. If there is room on Broadway for Hedwig & The Angry Inch alongside The Addams Family, there is certainly room for Godspell and Hair.
posted by hippybear at 10:48 AM on September 15, 2010


hippybear, the Hair revival was a transfer from a Central Park production.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:49 AM on September 15, 2010


So is this an investment or a charity?
posted by smackfu at 10:54 AM on September 15, 2010


Would this be an appropriate place to confess (ha!) that I don't know the difference between Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar?

Godspell has Day By Day and facepaint. JCS has I Don't Know How To Love Him and a Herod of indeterminate sexuality.

Godspell is minimally plot-driven, mostly episodic tellings of parables with the crucifixion added at the end. JCS tells the story of the last 3 days of Jesus' life, nearly entirely plot driven and is sung-through.

Alternately, Godspell's music is more hippie folk rock while JCS is Andrew Lloyd Webber psychedelic rock show tuneish.

Or, Godspell had nobody in it you would recognize, while JCS had Ted Neely and Carl Anderson (in the movie anyway... the original album had Ian Gillan and Murray Head.)
posted by hippybear at 10:58 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


hippybear, the Hair revival was a transfer from a Central Park production.

Yup, I know. Doesn't mean it wasn't a huge success on Broadway right next to all those huge big budget musicals that OneMonkeysUncle says would keep a show which uses minimal effects, a small-ish cast, and isn't based on a huge movie franchise out of the market...
posted by hippybear at 11:00 AM on September 15, 2010


So is this an investment or a charity? It's an investment; in theory, you could get your investment back.

I'm tempted to do it, because investing in a Broadway musical sounds cool, but then I realize that the cool things about it include going to the opening night party, being nominated for the Tony, and other stuff like that, and with 5,000 other investors, you're not going to get that. You get your name on a poster and a button. I don't know if it's worth it without the perks, since recouping your investment is not guaranteed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:00 AM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


with 5,000 other investors, you're not going to get that

It seems the point of this IS that there are going to be 5,000 other investors, though. Also, the original post says the opening night party, tickets, etc. MAY be included in the deal.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on September 15, 2010


This revival has been in the works for years, even scheduled with a theatre once and advertised in the Times.

About two summers ago, they even cast it- I remember reading in a program for a Fringe musical just days after the postponement that so-and-so would be "making her Broadway debut in Godspell in the fall!" Ouch.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:12 AM on September 15, 2010


I saw the Toronto production in 1972(?) that had Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Gordon Thompson as Jesus (from the TV show"Dynasty"). Paul Shaeffer was the musical director. I forget who else was in it. I loved it. I can still picture Eugene Levy rising from the audience in the the opening, blowing that horn. I was a kid, there with a youth group. I still have the program.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:45 AM on September 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also, the original post says the opening night party, tickets, etc. MAY be included in the deal.

Yeah, that's what I would say too if I was trying to sell these.

My favorite part is the fine print that says "THIS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL OR A SOLICITATION TO BUY ANY UNITS." It totally is.
posted by smackfu at 11:45 AM on September 15, 2010


Godspell had nobody in it you would recognize, while JCS had Ted Neely and Carl Anderson (in the movie anyway...)

Gotta disagree there -- pretty sure more far more folks would recognize Godspell's Jesus, since he played Jack Bristow in Alias, among many, many other things, than JCS's Ted Neeley, who has done... well, basically nothing else.

(Plus the Godspell movie had the late, great, Lynne Thigpen.)
posted by tzikeh at 12:08 PM on September 15, 2010


Huh. I never watched a single episode of Alias, so that's probably why I have no context for him.

Neeley has done a lot, but yeah, he's best known for playing Jesus in JCS. Odd that I immediately recognize many JCS cast members, but really only know the Godspell cast through their involvement with that show. (Probably because the script is written with the characters being tailored for the actors and they are all named after the people who played them originally.)
posted by hippybear at 12:30 PM on September 15, 2010


I realize that the cool things about it include going to the opening night party, being nominated for the Tony, and other stuff like that...with 5,000 other investors, you're not going to get that.

The angels share.

I like this idea.
posted by sagwalla at 12:54 PM on September 15, 2010


Darn, someone's already beat me to mentioning Victor Garber (who, of course, was also in the second-highest-grossing movie ever); Lynne Thigpen is probably best-known outside of Godspell for being the radio DJ in The Warriorswho relayed messages from the Riffs to the Warriors; all you ever saw of her were her lips.

The JCS movie? Arguably Yvonne Elliman, as much for her singing as her acting, although probably the most prolific of all of the JCS actors would have to be Philip Toubus, who played Peter, although almost all of his roles were under a pseudonym.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:18 PM on September 15, 2010


Hair made it's money back in this go around? I wasn't aware of that. Not that i really care that much - that we're even HAVING this discussion about a sophomoric folk-rock novelty from forty years ago, instead of supporting something new, and different, and exciting, is why I couldn't possibly care less about Davenport or his quixotic quest to remount the Hippy Jesus Show...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 7:42 PM on September 15, 2010


Ah, I mistook your earlier comment as part of the conversation, and not actual complete dismissal. Sorry. Carry on.
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2010


Halloween Jack - Lynne Thigpen is one of those "Hey, It's That Guy" actors for many adults (she was guest-starring all over network television in the 80s/90s), but for anyone who had kids in the 80s/90s, or was a kid in the 80s/90s, she's The Chief from Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, a long-running program on PBS that taught geography through the chase of an international thief (also a video game).
posted by tzikeh at 8:16 AM on September 16, 2010


OneMonkeysUncle - not for nothing, but Hair had more first-time theater-goer attendees than any other musical playing that year. "New, and different, and exciting (to you)" doesn't always equal "bringing new audience members to Broadway, without whom it dies."
posted by tzikeh at 8:20 AM on September 16, 2010


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