‘Godspell’ tells Aspen’s story
November 21, 2002
If “All the world’s a stage,” then all the Aspen valley is “Godspell.”
Who would think a trip to the local community theater under comparatively simple circumstances would magnify the most innocent moments into new perspectives? And how could a ?60s cult favorite draw a timely parallel for a resort community hovering in the world at 8,000 feet?
What message is woven through the modern, witty, graphic, provoking, tender and telling rendition of “Godspell,” as presented this week by our local Defiance Community Players?
While this musical is based on the book of St. Matthew, this show is really about community … community spirit and how people come together through adversity. An “army” of philosophers opens the show, preaching their individual thoughts ? it is like witnessing this valley’s odd collection of humanity from the politicians to the capitalists, from the merchants to the landlords, from the philanthropists to the philanderers and their ongoing “Tower of Babble.”
These characters grasp for salvation from someone or something. They unconsciously strive through positioning, greed, dominance, separation and degradation.
Surprise! They soon find this pull to earthly trappings where “moss and rust consume” no longer sustains them. To survive, to thrive … they learn how to come together with all of their diversity, through all of their fear, “day by day.”
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Acceptance of what is threaded with love of their brothers must occur before they can evolve. Through “Learn your lesson well” they suddenly discover that the “exalted are humbled and the humbled are exalted.”
Hello Skico, ACRA, Intrawest and disguised Enron emulators … perhaps a more humble, respectful, inspiringly authentic and inclusive awareness of who and what breeds the essence of our valley could rekindle and ever-exault the Aspen once greatly coveted by the world.
So this imaginative, pop art, hometown orchestration of “Godspell” teaches life’s (and Aspen’s) basic lessons of love, acceptance, presence, insight, fortitude, gratitude and charity ? and “not for the admiration of men.”
Listen to the music, Aspen. The songs tell our real story … we are the “Light of the World” and we can “build a beautiful city” and we need you “by my side.” Time to gather out of the numbing fog.
You don’t even need to head to Broadway or to turn on MTV, there is a worldly off-kilter artistic direction and heart-warmingly talented cast ready to baptize you into action from your reclining theater seat.
“Godspell” innocently asks the questions, who are we in community, where are we looking for salvation and at whose expense? Dare to look in the mirror, Aspen. Go see yourself starring in “Godspell.”