“Godspell" at the New Era Community Building -- September 29 through October 1.

Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1

New Era Communing Building, 3455 New Era Road, Muscatine IA

One of the most beloved stage musicals in American history, as well as a Tony Award nominee whose iconic show tune "Day by Day" reached number 13 on the Billboard pop singles chart, composer Stephen Schwartz's timeless Godspell serves as this year's fundraising performance by Muscatine's New Era Dinner Theatre, its September 29 through October 1 run finding its proceeds benefiting Lutheran World Relief, the Muscatine Chapter of the Salvation Army, and New Era Lutheran Church.

Godspell was the first major musical-theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), and upon its debut, it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit "Day by Day," Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "All for the Best," "All Good Gifts," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side." In the musical, a small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. And with Godspell eventually moving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance, and love come vibrantly to life in this show that has been a staple of professional, community, and student theatres since its off-Broadway debut in 1971.

With Godspell the 28th in New Era Dinner Theatre's series of annual fundraising performances, the production is directed by Bill Turner, with musical direction by Bob Danner. Included among the ensemble cast are area stage talents Jenni Colbert, Courtney Cooper, Chelsea Geldenhuys, Hunter Haller, Antonio Martinez, Delene McConnaha, Nathan Paulsen, Presley Reimers, Kari Thoren, Adam Turner, Cali Van Zandt, and Stevie Whitehead.

Godspell will be presented from Seoptember 29 through October 1 in the New Era Community Building next to Wild Cat Den State Park in rural Muscatine, with dinner served at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. This year’s dinner will consist of tossed salad, grilled chicken breast, parsley potatoes, New Era green beans, dinner roll, pumpkin bar, and beverage, with the performances starting immediately afterward, and the dining room, theatre, and restrooms at New Era are handicap accessible.

Tickets for the dinner and show are $30 for adults and $20 for children through age 12, and can be ordered by calling Joan Dietrich at (563)299-4710 or Nancy Henke at (563)263-0881. Tickets may also be ordered by mail at Godspell Tickets, c/o Joan Dietrich, 2854 Rolling Meadow Lane, Muscatine, IA, 52761.

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