If the original authors of the Bible were around today, in this tough publishing market, they could always design for Broadway as a fallback plan. The books are nothing if not theatrical — large-cast, challengingly choreographed, creatively set-designed, multi-act epics with resounding messages. It’s why their texts have inspired so many successful Broadway musicals, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to Jesus Christ Superstar to Godspell, the last of which runs through November 4 at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables).
The parables constituting the episodic Godspell are based on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, including perennial favorites such as the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Parable of Lazarus, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Eighteen songs courtesy of composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), including the transcendent hit “Day by Day,” carry the action across two ambitious acts. The scenic design remains something of a mystery — no set is explicitly dictated in the text, so designers have historically taken liberties with it, setting it everywhere from apocalyptic landscapes to abandoned theaters. Legend has it that one production took place inside a McDonald’s restaurant; we assume the chicken nuggets looked like Jesus.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 12. Continues through Nov. 4, 2012