"Prepare ye the way of the Lord," and while you are at it, prepare yourself to see Godspell this weekend at Zion Lutheran Church in Tamaqua. Showtime is 7 p.m. both Friday, Nov. 18; and Saturday, Nov. 19.

The popular musical, which opened on Broadway in 1971, is a production of H.T.O. Services Spotlights. It is being presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew and written by John-Michael Tebelak, the play includes a score composed by Stephen Schwartz, whose music has stood the test of time, transcending four decades of followers. It features a band of

"Godspell is a great depiction of community," says musical director Jonathan M. Rodgers. "The show demonstrates growth and development of individuals and a group. The music includes pop, rock, gospel, and country genres. The music also offers a diversity in layering and textures amongst the vocal parts."

Today's audience is certain to love the iconic tunes, as much as they did 40 years ago, including such classics as "Day By Day," "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "Light of the World" and more.

Using theatrics, charades, comedy and pantomime, the cast of characters brings to life the parables of Jesus Christ, including a touching portrayal of his final moments.

"One of the greatest aspects of this show is the fact that it holds appeal for all audiences," says staging director Ryan Miorelli. "Not only is Jesus portrayed as a divine figure, but he is also shown as a caring friend, charismatic leader, a clever comedian and a gifted story teller."

Miorelli says the show is funny, entertaining and enlightening.

"It can truly be enjoyed by people of all ages, faiths and walks of life."

In blocking the show, Miorelli says he allowed the actors to explore the characters in their own ways. He believes that bits of each actors' real life personalities can be seen in their on-stage alter egos, but not at the expense of the original script.

Cast members include, Brent Harris as Jesus; Robert Fatzinger as Judas; David Zimmerman as Jeffrey; Matt Poirier as Lamar; Jim Cimms as Herb; Michelle Stoudt as Sonia; Alissa Muffley as Gilmer; Olivia Haydt as Joanne; Patricia Peters as Trish; Jessica Schafer as Peggy; and Drusilla Laughman as Robin.

Musicians include Audrey Christ as the accompanist; Duane Reichard as percussionist; and Michael Muffley on bass.

Choreographers for Godspell are Rodgers and Megan Rodgers.

The cast created their own costumes for this production.

Friday's performance is the show only. On Saturday, those attending may also select to have dinner prior to the show, from 6-6:45 p.m.

Zion Lutheran Church is located at 109 North Greenwood St. in Tamaqua.

For tickets or for more information, call (570) 805-4711 or e-mail director@htoservices.org [2].