Godspell, The Musical


The story (and later the musical and film) of Godspell originated as a Masters thesis. Written by John-Michael Trebelak shortly after being sexually abused in a frisk by a policeman, the story reflects the emergence of a Jesus-community in the New York, “hippy” setting of the Vietnam Era.

The Jesus narrative is encapsulated in the the song Day By Day performed by Robin Lamont in the film with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. As illustrated by the words and in the adjoining film sequence, Lamont (second from right in the above photo) pledges allegiance to her “Master” or the character of Jesus, and her willingness to live an alterative life in a “day by day” fashion outside of the urban rat race.

In the film sequence, Lamont can be seen as being embued or even impregnated by the spirit of the character representing Jesus in the movie (immediately left of center-stage in the above photo). Jesus, for example, calmly touches her as she confesses her loyalty. Then, after witnessing Jesus implant a growing tree, Lamont expresses an ecstatic or highly emotionally charged expression while holding her body.

In many ways, the narrative of the off-broadway play and the film can both be seen as a bold and sometimes iconoclastic re-envisioning of the original Christian story. As was true of various Vietnam era musicals such as Hair or Jesus Christ, Superstar, Godspell reconvenes the nature of Christian church and religion into a setting that uplifts emotions, youthfulness, group identity and peaceful– yet profoundly deep –social rebellion.

Xalapa’s hills

This photography by Daniela Berenice Cruz Hernandez, an environmental engineer, shows a young couple walking down the gentle hills of Xalapa. Carrying a plastic bag, perhaps they are walking downhill to their parked car after shopping. Approaching the preschool (Jardin de ninos in the red building) perhaps they are stopping by the preschool to pick up their son or daughter.

Overall, Daniela’s photo shows the slope of Xalapa’s rolling hills. As much as the fog (niebla) the hills characterize this interesting and busy city.

Image

Road to the Mountains

This is one of Daniela Berenice Cruz Hernandez’s beautiful photographs of her home in Xalapa, Mexico. In the distance is the Cofre de Perote. This distinctive peak has a unique outline which reminds viewers of a coffer or an ornate box for jewels or keepsakes.

Daniela, who has family roots in the state of Veracruz, is finishing her thesis for an advanced degree in Environmental Engineering.

The large structural shape in the form of an “X” commemorates the first letter of the modern spelling of Daniela’s city: Xalapa.

The TBar is alive at 2700 Capitol Av.

DSC00231

The TBar is open at 2700 Capitol Avenue despite the current pandemic. The neighboring B Street Theatre brought in a lot of evening business into the small eatery. Despite the temporary closure of the theatre, though, the restaurant continues to serve its original tea-flavored sorbets and an assortment of counter food.

Despite the “Phase 2” restrictions, the manager allowed four of her staff to pose in front of the restaurant. Although masked, the team members exude a spirit of exuberance toward each other that is absolutely infectious.

Etched on the door to the right is one of the restaurants favorite slogans: Not Your Grandma’s Cup of Tea. The generational vibe is for real at this slurpy sippery.

The Tree Over University Presbyterian

DSC00224

The 50-year old Catalpa at University Presbyterian (Fremont Presbyterian) shades the Sunday crosswalk from the parking lot. Although some of the members say that the tree’s canopy was once rounder, with a fuller bloom, the current middle-aged tree is nothing short of spectacular.

In the last few years, the church campus is shared with a different Protestant denomination. However, PC (USA) supports a thriving outreach to young adults attending the nearby California State University, Sacramento.

The Catalpa, known for its huge leaves and magnificent blossoms, actually graces the parking lot of the Scottish Rites building across the street from the church. Nevertheless, the lovely tree soars to over half-way to the top of the interesting, modernistic steeple that presides over the church.