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NFM High bringing classic ‘Godspell’ to life

By Staff | Nov 27, 2012

North Fort Myers High School performers are kicking off the holiday season with a 70s classic – “Godspell.”

Performances will be held Thursday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m.

This Broadway blockbuster hit took the stage in 1971, then enjoyed numerous revivals.

It tells the story of the Bible in an upbeat, creative, fun style through a series of parables that North High students will perform with a modern twist, said Michele Whitener, head of the drama department.

“In ‘Godspell,’ Jesus rocks, and the musical is great for all ages. There is a kind of funky rock ‘n roll style, a fun way to learn the parables. So many have seen this years ago, back in 70’s – it is a different plot from beginning to end – and ends with dramatic scenes.”

This is a “small fall musical” for the performers, with a modern day take.

Many hit songs, including “Day by Day” and “O Bless the Lord” came out of the production.

“It really has a balance, a respect of the Bible but making it playful,” said student Trevor Schmidt.

Ben Lamoureux plays Judas, and said it is interesting to play the villain.

“This explores how there is a plan for all of us, how it is set in motion and becomes that.”

“We have a really small band playing this time, quite a little surprise for the band so they can interact more,” said North High Musical Director Gwen Gregg. “The students singing have really picked up the style of the seventies. You can’t beat their rendition of ‘Day By Day.’

“O Bless the Lord” is a favorite, she said.

“I love the dramatic ending of the whole musical. People will laugh and it can be serious, so many cry a little bit; it is diverse.”

She also talked about another upcoming musical event.

“The Choral Concert will be held Thursday, Dec 6, at 6:30 p.m. – ‘A Knight of Halleluias’ – in our auditorium. One hundred and sixty students will be participating.”

Admission for the Choral Concert is $3.

NFM High graduate Sterling Wingard, with grandmother Elizabeth Wingard, recently attended a rehearsal of the show, to be able to see brother and grandson Chase Wingard perform in the musical. Sterling is now at Troy University in Alabama and will be unable to see the actual production, so this was the next best thing, both said.

“North Fort Myers High got me hooked on the theater environment,” said Sterling, who had performed on that stage while a student there. He could not be prouder of his brother’s upcoming performance.

“Ms. Whitener was gracious enough to let us see the rehearsal. It is like coming home. And my brother is very talented, I’m proud.”

“They are both so talented,” said Elizabeth Wingard.

The cost to attend the Godspell performance is $8 for adults and $5 for students and children.

North Fort Myers High School is at 5000 Orange Grove Blvd. For information, call 995-2117.