|By Sandi Mayor
A cast of nearly 30 actors brought abundant enthusiasm to Our Lady of Good
Counsel in Southampton Saturday evening for "The Word", a Gospel Opera.
The original musical by Archbishop Wood alum Bill Monaghan celebrated its
one-year anniversary last weekend. Last year, the musical gained
exposure at Father Judge and Archbishop Wood high schools.
The musical begins with a young woman's strong voice singing, "In the beginning?
there was the word." A fun number, "The Washing Up/Baptism Rite"
with a tropical beat, details the journey of a man wanting to come clean
and begin a new life. John the Baptizer is played by Carl Lichtner.
Satan, played by Anthony DiFulvio, tries to scare those who want to wash
themselves in "Devil in the Desert."
One of the audience favorites, "Blessed and Happy" is sung and performed
in sign language with lyrics such as "you are not forgotten, be glad and
rejoice." A recorder solo by Monaghan, who plays Jesus, makes the
number especially unusual.
"I Raise My Eyes," a slow song with the message of finding the face of
God, was favored by the audience Saturday
Other lively gospel numbers include "Hoe-down" and "Taste and See."
"The Last Dinner" scene is followed by a climactic portrayal of Jesus on
the cross. Mary Bontempo sings "Lullaby, Close Your Eyes," followed
by the full cast.
the audience said:
"The kids in the play
are full of high energy, and the music is very good."
-Peggy Welser of Langhorne, who brought her 5-year-old son
"The voices of the
performers are great. The directing is really good also."
-Danielle Ambrosini of Huntington Valley
"The performance and
actors are really professional on stage."
-Shirley Batula of Lower Moreland
"This is the third
time I've seen the play since it opened last year. 'I Raise My Eyes'
and 'Lullaby' are two of my favoite numbers."
-Jon McCabe, a sophomore at Archbishop Wood, who is active in his
high school's theatrical group