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Rock opera runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-17 in downtown Hillsboro.

With the holidays well underway, HART Theatre will be putting on its next production, which will be geared toward the Christmas season.

"Godspell" is a musical, composed by Stephen Schwartz with the spoken parts by John-Michael Tebelak. When it was first produced on Broadway in 1971, it broke new ground in regard to its stage treatment of Jesus Christ. Based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the production follows the last days of Christ around the time of the Last Supper before his crucifixion.

A small group of people help him tell different dramatized versions of parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing, in step with the theater company's theme this year of "Laugh Along with HART." It wouldn't be a musical without an eclectic blend of songs, and "Godspell" has them. Ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, the songs are played as the story of Christ's life dances across the stage.

The cast are conceived as clowns and hippies, improvising scenery and costumes, and using many well-known theatrical devices, varied musical styles to interpret one of the Bible's most significant events.

The role of Jesus is played by Stephen Radley and Evan Tate plays John the Baptist/Judas.

The show is directed by Ray Hale, with musical direction by Alice Dalrymple and choreography by Kate Jahnson.

This will be HART's final production for the year. "Godspell" runs from Friday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 17, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students or children. They can be purchased online at www.hart-theatre.org or at the box office at 185 S.E. Washington St. before the performance.

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