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YMMV / Godspell

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In general

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The fact that the same actor (traditionally) plays John the Baptist and Judas opens up whole volumes of speculation, even if the production plays it as one actor playing two distinct characters (John's holy mission was to prepare the path for the beginning of Christ's ministry, then was it Judas' holy mission to close Christ's ministry on Earth?) If they're the same character, than you can have a Judas who began the movement but is frightened of what it has become, or a heartbroken John, his most loyal disciple, following Jesus' orders no matter what the cost.
  • Awesome Music: There are arguments to be made for, depending on the production/performers, "Alas for You", "Save the People", and "Day By Day", but the one song everyone agrees is amazing is the "Crucifixion/Long Live God" finale.
    • What, no love for "Bless The Lord" or "We Beseech Thee"?
  • Dueling Works: With Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • Genius Bonus: For those not in the know, the song "Day by Day" is based on a prayer spoken by St. Richard of Chichester:
    Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ
    For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
    For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
    O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
    May I know Thee more clearly,
    Love Thee more dearly,
    Follow Thee more nearly.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The complaints by detractors of the show's plot regarding the lack of an obvious depiction of Jesus's resurrection completely spits in the face of the fact the show's focus is Jesus's teachings of love, not his life, death, and resurrection.
  • Older Than They Think: Many of the lyrics that aren't from The Bible are from old hymns and prayerbooks.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • The 1972 Toronto production has become legendary for the number of high-profile performers that came out of it including: Victor Garber, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner, Dave Thomas, and Martin Short. The musical director was none other than Paul Shaffer.
    • The 2010's revival cast did an event called "Godspell Cast of 2032" which featured child actors in place of the regular cast. Jesus was played by a very young Gaten Matarazzo, who went on to star in Netflix's Stranger Things.


Specifically for the film

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Alas for You" scene comes out of left field, with the Pharisees depicted as some strange metallic monstrosity made of various junk that speaks in a Voice of the Legion. It comes apart and gets taken down as the song finishes, and the incident is not referenced again as the segment goes immediately into "By My Side."
  • Dueling Works: With Jesus Christ Superstar again, both plays had movie adaptations in 1973.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jeffrey Mylett (plays the recorder, wears the derby hat) has a surprisingly sizable fanbase. Unfortunately, he died of AIDS in 1986.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The movie features a lot of dancing in front of and on top of the World Trade Center.
    • In his first column after 9/11, sex columnist Dan Savage said:
      All I can think about is the cast of Godspell on top of the World Trade Center and singing "All for the Best"!
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Uncanny Valley: While certainly not intentional, Victor Garber can look a little creepy with his makeup on. Especially unfortunate considering that he plays Jesus.


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