Los Alamitos' playful performance of "Godspell"
Many people hear stories from the Bible at times in their lives, either through school or maybe family. But "Godspell" isn't just a typical bible story, it's so much more than that. It transforms typical bible tales into stories that are thought provoking, relevant, heartwarming and entertaining.
Entering in all white, singing an angelic tune, Jesus (Amira Aiad) surprises a group of bickering kids, filled with angst and discontent with one another. Aiad simultaneously nurtures the kids while teaching them life lessons. She excitedly involves everyone in the stories so they take away the lessons and morals each story showcases, like camaraderie and fellowship with one another. Her high spirits and constant energy lift up and guide the kids to friendship and love for one another so that when her time with them is over they have each other.
The eerie yet feisty Judas (Tori Peterson) dressed in black, to display her attitude towards the unfolding stories. Holds her arms crossed and eyes ready to roll so she's always on the brink of defying and contradicting Jesus (Aiad). As she struts across the stage she exerts her ruthlessness and will to go against those she is growing to love in exchange for power and authority. In the end she recognizes her sins once it is too late to turn back. She hands Aiad over to be executed despite every loving thing Aiad does during their time together. Her true emotion and physical torness adds authenticity and life to her portrayal of Judas.
Alexandria Magana's inner diva and breathtaking vocals take life in her miraculous performance. She along with Lizzy Legere light up the stage with their spunk and hilarious comedic moments. Even when the spotlight's not on them they never stop shinning and interacting with everyone around them. Magana being the queen of sass and spirit while Legere is full of spunk and cheer allows them to work together and with those around them to make this show hilarious but also heartwarming.
The usage of color throughout the show, with costumes by Summer Rodgers and lighting design by Victoria Bazanich add a level of emotion and attitude to each character. The creativity of the backlighting and the colorful converse each character has gives the production a sense of playful uniqueness.
The production of "Godspell" at Los Alamitos demonstrates the importance of love and companionship.
by Makena Schendel of Dana Hills
Los Alamitos Casts a Lively Spell on Audiences in "Godspell"
"Godspell" tackles the necessity of love as Jesus Christ gathers a group of disciples who he teaches various parables. Between upbeat songs of love and dark moments of betrayal, Jesus leaves the disciples with lessons to carry on beyond his time.
With its modern elements and playful personality, Los Alamitos re-ignites a story of kindness and community.
Alexandria Magana as Alexandria is captivating in "Turn Back, O Man." She exudes confidence through her powerful belt and how she fully leans into the song's sexy tone. As she crawls provocatively downstage, she embodies the flirtatious fun of this cautionary tale.
Tori Peterson excels as Judas, especially when she is separated from Jesus and his disciples. She is in tune with the space around her as she pantomimes being trapped, with nuanced but rising indignation on her face.
In contrast is Ethan Nemeth as Ethan, whose comedic one-liner delivery is spot on. He is perfectly offhand in his lines instead of digging for a reaction, which adds a humorous sincerity to otherwise normal moments.
The scenic design (Emma Moon) establishes a modern backdrop for this twenty first century rendition of this classic show. The playset and metal fence panel at the back of the stage are not only pops of playfulness, but functional pieces for the actors to interact with. The props crew (Nikki Ocampo, Lizzie Schmidt) juxtaposes the Biblical messages with modern items, like using a hydroflask as the water source for the disciples' baptisms. The faces made out of lights and loops of ducts, which serve as quirky puppets, stand out as added interest for the scene beyond acting.
The lighting design (Victoria Bozanich) is colorful but with intention. The lighting adds a whole new dimension of haunting atmosphere when the theater is washed in darkness but for a royal blue background with the silhouettes of the ensemble kneeling around Jesus, whose face is illuminated with a white light. The dark nature of the lights allow the actors to float bright finger lights around Jesus, conveying his radiant righteousness.
Overall, Los Alamitos's "Godspell" is a walk through the park, with enduring themes given a modern spark.
by Haley Brogden of El Dorado
Los Alamitos takes on Godspell in very colorful way!
This rock opera provides a modern look, with multiple perspectives involving the last few days of Jesus' life. With all the singing and dancing the entire cast displays a clear love for one another, something that is really important to the message of the musical itself.
There's never a dull moment onstage, the cast members display so much energy and joy for their work it's hard not to pay attention. Micheal Larios and Ethan Nemeth always had the audience laughing with their one-liners, and their comedic timing. Both boys were also wonderful in the songs, the harmonies were very crisp and clear which is not easy when there are the only two males in the show.
This show has so much vocal talent, one major standout was Ms. Alexandria Magana. "Turn Back, O Man" is right! She has so much control with her voice and her belts were jaw-dropping, not to mention how she's also fully engaged in the musical while also making the audience laugh with her impeccable comedic timing. Amira Aiad approached her role as Jesus with a careful maternity, and she executes its wonderfully. Acting as a guide to her diciples, she displays such a pure wholesomeness as Jesus and while her role meant to be in a higher power, she never was above any of her disciples she relates to each of them wonderfully.
The lighting design by Victoria Bozanich certainly did present the light of the world. Contrasting colors fill up their blackbox as songs such as "O Bless the Lord My Soul" and "Day by Day" play, and the color really add to the effect in creating that happy uplifting tone. Jesus's death was absolutely astounding, the red really intensified the moment while also creating some amazing silhouettes of the actors. The costume coordination by Summer Rodgers really added to each of the characters, while still keeping the modern theme of the musical. Each cast member had a costume that added to their aesthetic whether it was white overalls to show innocence or even brown pants to represent the traitor.
Los Alamitos really celebrates the idea of love and hope within this musical.
by Claudia Fiallo of Fullerton Union
"Prepare Ye" for Los Alamitos' Godspell
The story of Jesus is told through upbeat songs and delightful stage pictures, however the real message of the show is sharing peace and joy with every human on earth is the most important thing in life.
Michael Larios is absolutely hilarious. His perfectly timed humor and lovable energy brings a special warmth and comfort to the show. Larios' quick-witted one liners, which are seemingly ad-libbed, are excellent and straight-up comedy gold. His vocals are exquisite with amazing diction and tone. He gives his all and it really shows.
Tori Peterson as Judas puts a ton of raw emotion into the character. The way she is able to physically encapsulate Judas' inner turmoil is incredible. In the "Last Supper" scene, she stands across the stage from the table and she draws out pure misery bringing herself to tears to embody the way she feels about the decisions she made.
The singing voice of Alexandria Magana is truly jaw-dropping. Her voice is sweet and smooth, but is set in a deeper place which add extremely well to the darker mood of her character. Magana's voice is perfect and really holds the show together.
The cast and crew is lead flawlessly by the Stage Manager Mady Lopez with her assistants Genique Clark and Shane Prunty. All of the sound cues and actor entrances are executed beautifully. At the end of the first act, a confetti cannon goes off and almost immediately as the lights come up after the final blackout of Act 1 the stage managers are on stage picking up confetti. By the time Act 2 begins the confetti is gone. The efficiency of the stage management team is incredible and keeps the show moving at all times.
The costume design by Summer Rogers is wonderfully crafted. Rogers created the design to make all of the characters have their own color scheme. She also had every cast member wear a different color pair of converse to attribute and develop their characters. The idea to have Jesus wear all white to show divinity and purity was brilliant.
Los Alamitos does an incredible job with conveying the story and true message of Godspell.
by Cooper Miller of Fullerton Union
Los Alamitos Joyest and Uplifting production of Godspell.
Godspell is a musical based on the stories from the Bible, specifically the book of Matthew. The musical follows Jesus Christ when he recruits a group of 9 followers and teaches them various lessons but through song and dance.
Amiraa Aiad's interpretation of Jesus on stage was fresh and enchanting to watch on stage. She played the role of the mentor and protector of all 9 of the members on stage with her at all times. Her voice was light and beautiful to the ear, but also raw with a darker quality to her voice at times. This made the intensity of the piece mature, creating a stimulating performance.
Alexandria Magana's performance as one of the followers of Christ in this show is nothing less than fabulous and remarkable. Magana's voice is beyond her years, her vocals throughout the show were spine-tingling as Act 2 she opens the show with an absolutely jaw-dropping, and soulful belted outperformance of "Turn Back O Man". In the scenes where Alexandria is not featured but is still on stage, she makes her presence big, bold, and an absolute joy to watch.
Alyssa Manzanares's performance as one of the followers of Christ in this show is fantastic, a standout in her cast. She is a shining star when she is on stage. Expressive with her emotions on stage and a big risk taker making acting choices that benefit her and her team for the greater good of this musical. She brings life, energy, joy, and even sadness in the appropriate times throughout the course of the show.
Set Design by Emma Moon is visually a feast for the eyes with its simplistic design but big artist choices that created a perfect working atmosphere for the actors to perform in their cozy newly renovated blackbox theatre. A working playground with swings, and a slide. Along with a park bench, and fence working as colorful cyc to change color to create a mood in the piece.
Los Alamitos Production of "Godspell" teaches the importance of love, community, and acceptance in a time in society, where we need that lesson more of spreading love and coming together in harmony, and Los Alamitos High School does just that.
by Vincent Alatorre of Fullerton Union
Los Alamitos HS Godspell shows religious teachings in a whole new light
The stories of St. Matthews radiate from inside a black box theater. So much passion and dedication mixed to create an entertaining new way of reciting the Bible. Coming together, the cast of Godspell beautifully sings to the heavens about the right and wrong ways of living a life for Jesus.
Leading the way, Amira Aiad gracefully depicts Jesus Christ. Aiad has fantastic facial expressions throughout the performance as she gathers her disciples and instills true morals in them. Exuding confidence and the all-knowing power of God, her performance is eye-catching. She has incredible chemistry particularly with Tori Peterson, portraying Judas. The two giggle and grin together as they share their passion for the lord. Peterson shows striking grief as her face contorts in pain seeing the effects of her betrayal of Jesus.
Alexandria Magana keeps up her extreme amounts of energy, never losing touch of her character. She projects with preparation and characterization, each sentence she recites is refreshing and honest. A skillful singer, Magana exercises her flawless techniques as she belts out every note easily.
Sophia Soule adds a versatile and mischevious aspect to the group, along with Micheal Larios. He booms and bellows upon the stage with his distinguished vocality. Constantly changing levels and pitches, his adaptability to each new persona is incredible. Working well with Ethan Nemeth, they all compliment each other's personalities, with their hilarious adlib and side remarks.
Engaging and heartfelt, Lizzy Legere shows her undeniable devotion to Jesus. From her soft, yet powerful vocals to her attentive nature, she gleefully skips across the stage, flashing her charming smile.
Lighting by Victoria Bozanich expertly uses purple hues to foreshadow the eventual fate of Jesus. As well as a gradual shift, from pastels to darker colors, representing Jesus' downfall. Each cast member wears a certain color representing a characteristic about them, for example Costumes by Summer Rogers has Jesus in white showing sincerity, positivity, and protection. A catching video by Publicity, Louie Gallagher, presents Crosswalk the musical and media influence, geniously used to grasp potential viewers and give them a sneak peek.
Learning the lessons of life is always hard, but with the exhilarating cast of Los Alamitos's Godspell, it is unquestionable that even the hardest ones can be taught and received with joy.
by Bailey Moroson of San Juan Hills
Los Alamitos' "Godspell" is a gift from God!
The small cast of ten students showed all the ups and downs of Christianity at Los Alamitos "Godspell".
Mainly based off of the book of Matthew, "Godspell" follows the story of Jesus, his teaching of his disciples, and the harsh reality of a belief in a higher power.
Overall, the casts use of facial expressions showed depth, commitment, and character to the show. Their constant adaptation of the story brought hilarious twists to the classic.
Using physicality, vocal range, and facial expressions, Amira Aiad steps into the role of Jesus. Aiad beautifully differentiates her character's ability to relate to the disciples and her parental role. Aiad's use of body language flawlessly represents her love of her people.
With vocals beyond comparison, Alexandria Magana's portrayal of Alexandria displays emotion and depth. Magana's practice of using subtle facial expressions shows how she really steps into her character and highlight herself in every scene. Additionally, Ethan Nemeth is also able to use physicality to become his character. Nemeth's use of his body creates a fun, sharp, and concise comedic relief. The ensemble never once drops their large amount of energy or let themselves overshadow the larger roles in each scene.
The scenic design team did a great job of using what is available to them for the set. They use things like a school bench, a basketball hoop and fence, and even a full play structure. The use of structures typically associated with school playgrounds makes a fun and almost childish space for the actors to use. Along the lines of atmosphere, the light design also utilized their specialties to set the mood. The use of color symbolism in the lighting is also use in costuming design to differentiate the characters.
Los Alamitos' rendition of "Godspell" is emotional, beautiful, and eye-opening. With the use of effective tech and wonderful acting they truly put on a magical show.
by Grace Roby of St. Margarets
O Bless Los Alamitos' "Godspell"
Los Alamitos' High School's production of "Godspell" is a show the actors and crew only used four weeks for preparation, yet is still highly comparable to productions that took twice as time to put on. The show is comprised of eight characters, each with distinct traits, that play different subroles while Jesus explains the parables in the Bible. The stories ultimately lead to Jesus' death, and the disciples mourn yet reflect all the lessons Jesus had taught them through not seeking revenge.
Victoria Bozanich's lighting design amplified the groovy yet solemn mood for the entire show. The deep red background light is immediately flashed during Jesus' death, immediately shifting the show's tone from flamboyant to grave.
Amira Aiad's portrayal of Jesus accurately reflected the main character in the Bible. Aiad's relationship with his disciples not only conveyed his position as a teacher-like figure, but also emphasized a sense of community and family.
Tori Peterson as Judas displayed accurate raw emotion realistic to her character. Even in Act I, Judas would insert hints that would foreshadow his relationship with Jesus in the second Act. Judas' expressions and timing, especially when he threw Jesus onto to fence to "nail" him, created a sense of shock and danger, the first moment the show drastically shifted moods.
Alexandria Magana as Alexandria stole the attention with her bright vocals. Although the actors had no microphones and were hard to to hear at moments, there was never trouble in hearing Magana's voice. In "Turn Back, O Man" her volume immediately set her as the main focus and brought out the passion and personality of her character.
Ethan Nemeth as Ethan has extremely skillful one-liner delivery. Even though he only had a few words to say in certain scenes, his comedic timing made the this extra touch of humor vital to the show.
Through the actor's expressions and the outstanding technical design, Los Alamitos' production of "Godspell" will stay vividly remembered in the audience's minds and hearts. The story of community based on the Bible performed by amazing actors and prepared by a talented crew is definitely worth seeing.
by Amy Wang of Sunny Hills
Los Alamitos' Godspell is the Light of the World
Based on stories structured around the Bible (specifically the book of Matthew), Godspell takes a journey through various parables and celebrations of things such as loving others, forgiveness, and acceptance. Guided through jubilant and solemn songs as well as dynamic characters, the story of Jesus gradually progresses throughout the astonishing adventure.
Adding plenty of humor for the audience to enjoy, Michael (Michael Larios) snatches all focus with his incredible comedic timing. Simple one liners turn into long lasting laughs with his exceptional delivery. Larios effortlessly transitions in and out of various roles within seconds, creating believable characters each with unique personalities differing from the rest. By the use of his amusing physicality, Larios adds another distinct layer of comedy to the production.
Belting her heart away, Sophia (Sophia Soule) commands the stage. Her impressive range showcased in "O Bless the Lord My Soul" exhibits the powerhouse Sophia is, causing her to shine brightly on stage. When Soule is not speaking and listening to others, she maintains her high energy throughout the show. Whether through her humorous facials or comical body language, Soule stands out like a shimmering star.
The creativity of props (Christina Morris, Kobe Takeda, Lizzie Schmidt, and Nikkie Ocampo) heavily contributes to the production as a whole. The usage of clamp lights and dryer ducts to create large faces creates an interesting scene that invests the audience even more into the story. The use of the slap on white bracelets further elevates the show, showing the unity of the entire cast as they all wear the same bracelets.
Lighting Design (Victoria Bozanich) also enhances the performance. The use of red tones to signify betrayal or sins enhances the serious tone of some scenes; whereas white and purple tones symbolize purity and good which brings a more relaxing atmosphere to other points in the musical. The vibrant colors displayed throughout songs support the uplifting ambience of the characters ecstatic singing.
Through the phenomenal vocals and terrific talent present in the production, Godspell at Los Alamitos fills the heart and soul with overwhelming emotion.
by Ashley Shin of Sunny Hills
In a whirlwind of color, bright lights, and 70s outfits, a diverse group of high school students danced across the stage in a modern reenactment of the Biblical Parables. True to the 70's vibe the show was centered around, Los Alamitos High School showcased a harlequin performance of the New Testament.
The musical Godspell by John-Michael Telebak is an unconventional approach to portraying the widely known Bible. It follows Jesus and a number of non-Biblical characters with personalities as colorful as their clothes as they take on a variety of Biblical personas.
Los Alamitos High School's production of this play shone through its small but incredibly versatile cast. Many of the cast members were tasked with portraying multiple Biblical characters through their base characters, all of whom were named after their actual names. All of the performances were memorable and endearing.
Leading the show was actress Amira Aiad as Jesus. With consistent emotion, the actress built a character that was spiritual, inspirational, and undoubtedly human. The lead convincingly put on a bright and wise teacher persona that also showed another more approachable, emotional side to herself in the second act.
Complementing the leads was the equally entertaining group of supporting characters. Tori Peterson, as Judas, portrayed a mysterious and emotional follower that fit well some of the many Biblical roles. Michael Larios, as Michael, served as unintentionally funny comic relief, cleverly delivering quips at the perfect moments. The ensemble brought the audience along on a special ride through the stories of the Bible; although there was a small cast portraying the characters of multiple parables, each parable was distinguishable from the others because of the clear character changes.
The technical and stage-related elements of the production complemented the spiritual atmosphere of the show. Props were scavenged instead of made, which was appropriate for the playground-style set. Victoria Bozanich impressively designed the lighting to fit the mood of each song, turning red for the emotional moments and white for the direct Biblical allusions. The subtle detail that went into each part of the stage all game together to perfectly craft the hippie 70s vibe that the show tried to achieve.
Through the colorful performances, impressive stage planning, and small but impressive cast, Los Alamitos High School brought to life their contemporary take on the events of the Bible. The show, supported by diverse and strong characters, built a 70s-style biblical world for all types of watchers to enjoy. With the joint efforts of the cast and tech crew, a familiar spiritual story was brought to life.
by Susie Choi of Sunny Hills
Los Alamitos High School's Inspiring Production of Godspell
Set as a handful of parables from the book of Matthew, Los Alamitos High School's production of Godspell takes inspiration from all walks of life to praise God through song and dance. The production tracks Jesus and his followers to his last days and ending with the crucifixion. What follows is a story of humility, honesty, mercy, and love throughout.
With a warmth emitting from her, Amira Aiad (Jesus) plays the son of god with elegance and style. Aiad graces the stage with an infectious charisma through and through. Aiad stays present throughout each scene and conveys a wide range of emotions, all the while never straying from her natural poise. Even in the most despairing of times of the show, Aiad envelopes the remainder of the characters with a loving tone of voice and soft cadence.
Serving as the vocal powerhouse of the production, Alexandria Magana (Alexandria) radiates confidence. Magana consistently adapts to the circumstances given to her and displays immense creativity when given the chance to talk to the audience. Magana embodies Alexandria's naturally resilient spirit and complements it with a gusto of her own. Magana takes complete control of her song "Turn Back, O Man" and impresses with her vocal talent as well as her comedic timing. "Turn Back, O Man" features Alexandria as the physical representation as temptation and uses the small, blackbox theater to its advantage by creating an in your face attitude. Alexandria uses this song to tempt and enrage Jesus and quickly becomes the catalyst for the rest of the characters to do the same.
Victoria Bozanich triumphs and creates a set of moods that are playful yet full of meaning. Each scene that foreshadows Jesus' death has a tint of purple to acknowledge the future loss of the messiah. Each light was strategically placed with intent to cover as much area as possible as well as contribute to the playground theme of the set.
With a committed cast and creative crew, Los Alamitos High School's production of Godspell puts on a show packed with charisma and compassion.
by Max Guerrero of Tesoro
Los Al Drama Director