Godspell: Producer Davenport to mount Broadway revival

Producer Ken Davenport has announced that his next project will be to mount the first Broadway revival of Godspell during the 2010/11 season.

Davenport said of the project "G'Spell is one of the most beloved musicals on the planet, by one of the most "popular" musical theater composers on the planet, and is the type of unique theatrical experience that audiences crave, and then talk about."

Davenport has told Variety that his revival of Godspell will be housed in one of the smaller Broadway theatre's and will have a 'modest capitalization pricetag.'

There has been no cast or creative team announced. Davenport writes on his Blog that he will make further announcements about the production soon.

This will be the second attempt at a Broadway revival in two years. Producer Adam Epstein was to have produced a Broadway revival that was set to open at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on 23 Oct 2008, but then announced in Aug 2008 that the production had been postponed. The planned revival was selling tickets and was to have starred Gavin Creel in the title role of 'Jesus,' alongside 'American Idol' finalist Diana DeGarmo as 'Mary.'

Epstein's said of the show's postponement "I am devastated that, due to the loss of a major investor in the harsh reality of a slowing economy, there were no other options at this time than to postpone. I could not in good conscience move forward without full confidence that the capitalization was in place and that all of those employed by the production could be responsibly taken care of."

Godspell features a score by Academy and Grammy Award winner and six time Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), and includes recognizable songs, such as "Day by Day", that have become staples of both the American musical theatre and popular culture alike. The musical's book is written by John-Michael Tebelak and is based upon "The Gospel of Matthew."

The original production of Godspell opened off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre on 13 May 1971 and in August of 1971 moved to the larger Promenade Theatre where it ran for 2,124 performances making it one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals in history.

After five years of sold-out audiences Off-Broadway, Godspell made its Broadway debut on 22 Jun 1976 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show moved to the Plymouth and the Ambassador before closing on 4 Sep 1977 after 527 performances. In all, the musical achieved more than 2,600 performances both on Broadway and off.

Originally published on

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