BY CARY GINELL
For anyone who believes that quality musical theater can only be seen in professional venues, Agoura High School’s Theatre Department’s production of Stephen Schwartz’s “Godspell” will change your mind. As my review in this week’s Acorn will show, producer/director Elizabeth Brasler has done a stellar job of putting together a cast of talented youngsters who take on this difficult and energetic show with enthusiasm and professionalism. Even those who don’t accede to the overtly religious message of the story (which chronicles the last seven days of the life of Christ) cannot help but be moved by the catchy melodies, exuberant dancing, and attractive staging of the show.
One of the featured performers in the show is senior Kendall Mordetzky, one of several artists we will be profiling this week in VC On Stage. We asked Kendall some questions about her performance in the show.
VCOS: Were you familiar with the show when you auditioned for it?
KENDALL: When I auditioned for the show I was pretty unfamiliar with it. I knew the show was written by Stephen Schwartz and that the only two “characters” were Jesus and Judas. I also was aware that the score consisted of rock music.
VCOS: Were you interested in getting any role or were there specific ones you really wanted to try for?
KENDALL: When I found out that our fall show was Godspell, I immediately bought the music on iTunes and started listening to the different girl solos. I loved “Bless The Lord” but decided to try out for “Turn Back O’ Man.” I really had no preference but knew I really wanted to get a solo.
VCOS: You have two of the prettiest songs in the show: “Day By Day” and “By My Side.” What is your background in singing?
KENDALL: I have been taking vocal lessons for eight years now. My current vocal teacher is Sue Willett and she has helped me tremendously. Besides taking vocal lessons religiously, I sing in Agoura High School’s Choir II. I have been in the choir since last year and have seen a major growth in my voice. I believe that a singer should be exposed to all different a kinds of repertoire.
VOCS: Are you interested in a career in the theater? If so – what are your “dream” roles?
KENDALL: Yes I am interested in a career in theatre. I currently am in the middle of filling out college applications for performing art schools. I have many dream roles but my top ones are Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Eponine in Les Miserables, Velma Kelly in Chicago, and Mimi in Rent.
VCOS: What are some of your favorite parts of the show?
KENDALL: My favorite parts in Godspell are “Bless The Lord”, “Light of the World”, “Beautiful City,” and when we all say goodbye to Jesus in “On the Willows.”
VCOS: What was the hardest thing for you to do in the show?
KENDALL: The hardest part about the show is making sure you are “always in the moment.” We are onstage practically the entire time and that takes a lot of focus and stamina!
Godspell plays through December 14 at Agoura High School’s Black Box Theatre. For dates and showtimes, see the VC On Stage Calendar.