It's story is that of sacrifice and betrayal.

A 1970 musical by Steven Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, "Godspell" will be performed by the Palmerton High School Drama Club.

Show times for the play are 7 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday in the high school auditorium. Admission is $5 at the door.

Brent Harris, drama coach, said the theme of "Godspell" is the "retelling of the gospel of Matthew, recounting the events of the life of Jesus."

"The show is unique in that it takes the well known story, places its events in a modern setting, and associates it with modern music; at least when it was written in the 70s," Harris said. "The show begins with the initial meeting of Jesus and his followers and moves through his relationship with them up until the time of his death."

Harris said the show was chosen "because of the challenges that it presents to the club."

"We have been looking to take big strides in the past two years, and this was a show that would allow us to work on developing our skills in both serious dramatic theater, as well as lighthearted comical theater," he said. "It is a show that will definitely entertain the audience with its wit and comedy, as well as capture them with its power."

Harris said the central cast of the show consists of nine main characters, but due to the interest in the club, he added it was decided to add extras to the show that are not necessarily called for in the script. There are a dozen or so extras, as well as an invaluable backstage crew who have been busy with everything from painting to running props and costumes, he said.

The cast and crew have been busy working on the show since the end of January, and depending on their level of involvement, have been spending anywhere from three to four days a week working on the production, Harris said.

"The time spent in the auditorium is really only a small part of the time spent memorizing lines, choreography, and developing character," he said. "Many of our cast members are involved in a number of other activities, sports, and clubs, and I am always amazed at how well they balance everything they do."

The cast of characters and the students who will portray them include:

Jesus, Mike Dydynsky; John the Baptist/Judas, Billy Heinick; Jeffrey, Blake Campbell; Lamar, Erika Hudock; Herb, Allyson Arndt;

Robin, Erin Williamson; Joanne, Monica Handwerk; Peggy, Amy Hudock; Sonia, Lydia Anthony; Gilmer, Michayla Doherty; Extras, Elizabeth Hahn, Kylee Tirado, Cortney Phillips, Shannon Bonser, Eliza Good, Emel Rasim, Bailey Shirk, Lila Goodhile, and Caytlin Bloss;

Set Design, Ben Winn, Zane Goodhile, Brittney DeFrain, Alex Sestok, and Kristin Yaremko (who graduated last year but has returned to help with artwork);

Music, Harris (guitar); Robert Fatzinger (piano); Michael Muffley (bass); and Ryan Scheckler (drums).

Harris said, "With a show as varied as this one, all I can hope is that at the end of each performance, the audience walks away having felt something."

"The one idea that I stress with the students, more than any other, is that while on stage, they have the power to grab the audience's emotions," he said. "More than anything else, I hope the students achieve that goal and in one way or another, the audience can connect with our production."