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AHS Theatre Troupe/TBT present ‘Godspell’ opening tonight

Courtesy Photo The Alpena High School Theatre Troupe and Thunder Bay Theatre present “Godspell” opening at 7:30 p.m. tonight at TBT. Above, the cast poses at a recent rehearsal.

ALPENA — The Alpena High School Theatre Troupe together with Thunder Bay Theatre present the Tony-nominated musical “Godspell,” opening at 7:30 p.m. tonight at TBT.

The AHS Masquers Club changed its name this year to the AHS Theatre Troupe.

The musical is directed and choreographed by Adrian Alexander, TBT education coordinator and dance academy instructor.

“Godspell” is a musical based on the Gospel of Matthew, Alexander explained.

“It goes through that Gospel, telling the different parables through different styles of storytelling,” he noted. “It tells the story all the way up through the crucifixation.”

The production opens tonight and runs through Dec. 15, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The plot is based on Biblical times, but the AHS/TBT version is set in modern day.

“So, we’ve conceptualized that we’re setting the story in modern-day New York City,” Alexander said, in an alleyway/construction zone area. “All these different people of different belief systems and different walks of life all happen to end up at the same place, and it starts in a very divided way … a very confrontational way, where we start separate, and then as the show goes on, realize how we can all overcome our belief systems and still create a better world for all of us to live in, and a community of love and unity.”

The music will encompass many styles, including rock, pop, gospel and jazz. A lot of fun dances will be featured as well.

“There’s kind of a little bit of everything in the show,” Alexander said, adding that the show is very versatile and entertaining for all ages.

“The students have been working really hard,” he added. “This is such a high caliber show, and I think, the first time that we’ve ever challenged our high school students in this way, so I encourage the community to come support them because they’ve done such a great job with it.”

Music direction will be by Jacob Kerzner, resident music director and vocal academy instructor at TBT.

“In this timeless tale of building a community, friendship, loyalty, and love, a small group of disciples helps Jesus tell a variety of parables through song, dance, and a heaping dose of humor,” a press release from TBT stated. “Boasting a score with chart-topping songs by Stephen Schwartz (‘Wicked’), including Billboard chart’s pop single hit ‘Day by Day,’ ‘Godspell’ is a sensation that continues to touch audiences with themes of kindness, tolerance, and love.”

The cast features actors from Alpena High School, including Joey Lanier as Jesus, Angelina Burcar as Judas, as well as Iven Brown, Olivia Gerhart, Lexie Lino, Jenna Peterson, Adriana Helinski, Tori Eller, Ashlyn Shaedig, and Logan Denbleyker. Professional actors from Thunder Bay Theatre who are in the cast include Emily Ahrens and Jordan Hand, as well as Interim Artistic Director Molly Stricker.

The production features scenic design by Cassie Lentz, costume design by Eileen Thoma, lighting design by Chris Riley, and production management and sound design by Tabitha Camp.

Tickets are $20 per adult, $12 per teen 13 to 17, $8 per child 12 and younger, and $16 with military I.D. For reservations, call the box office at 989-354-2267.

“Godspell” is sponsored by Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan.