Premiering tonight, at Kansas City's most unpredictable community theater: your favorite big Jesus musical extravaganza! No, not the old religious one, with the jillion Hallelujahs. And not the one where He's a superstar. Or that other Lloyd-Webber Requiem thing, the one with no rollerskates or neon or anything. And certainly not the one where He's going to Rock You Sexy Jesus Style. No, this is Godspell, the sweet-natured hippie one, the sing-along clown one, with suspenders and acoustic guitars and a 70s pop-gospel sunniness that's part Fairport Convention and part Muppet Movie. This is the one with Day By Day and Learn Your Lessons Well and J.C. Himself on the cover of the cast album looking like a spaghetti-haired yin-yang harlequin. In short, this is the easy-listening hobo Christ that current evangelicalism has chucked for a more bombastic, divisive model. It's good to have Him back, just as it's good of the Barn Players to cast the show with local teens. Maybe some of the beseeching that these talented Johnson County kids will do on-stage might get through to their folks: This Jesus doesn't care who anyone marries! Tickets are $10; the show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Barn Players (6219 Martway in Mission, 913- 432-9100).
Fri., Jan. 16; Sat., Jan. 17; Sun., Jan. 18, 2009