Artistic Synergy of Baltimore (ASoB) is the quintessential “Little Theatre That Can” with a combination of sheer chutzpah and a tireless sense of spirit, willing to take on challenges but staying pretty firmly in their own lane. They offer local talent a chance to perform in some well-known and some lesser-known shows from the canons of American theatre to varying degrees of success. Last weekend’s fundraiser-performance of local theatre staple, “Godspell: In Concert,” proves that determination can compensate for any number of missteps.
…this fundraiser offering of “Godspell: In Concert” was a success, and ASoB is certainly deserving of as much support as the community can muster.
Director Tammy Kaskel leads a team of cast and crew in this telling, mostly in song, of some of the parables of the bible. Though the production seemed plagued by technical difficulties, this hearty band of thespians did their level best to entertain the nearly sold out matinee audience. I truly wish some benevolent benefactor would donate some state of the art equipment to this theatre space in the basement of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Rosedale. I can’t think of a more worthy recipient. ASoB does its best with the resources at hand and they are to be commended for the effort. Lighting designer, sound engineer, and costumer are uncredited in the program, but whoever they are, bless them all. Music Director LeVar Betts and his band hold up their end of the Stephen Schwartz/John-Michael Tebelak score. Betts’ leadership of the vocal arrangements might have benefited from a little more rehearsal time but overall the ensemble numbers blended the voices well.
There were a couple of standout performances, notably Holly Ruhling’s rendition of “O Bless The Lord.” Others who did credible work were James Fitzpatrick on “All Good Gifts;” Linda Tamia Brown’s “Beautiful City,” and Grace Kaskel’s “On The Willows.” Let’s not forget the central player, Kyle LaPosta, who handled the role of Jesus with enthusiasm and a solid tenor voice. I’m predicting this young man will grow into a first rate musical actor.
If the size of the audience on Saturday afternoon was any indication, then I’d have to say that this fundraiser offering of “Godspell: In Concert” was a success, and ASoB is certainly deserving of as much support as the community can muster. Founder Melissa Fortson and Temple Fortson (yes, they are sisters) pour as much love and caring attention into this enterprise as any theatre makers I know. It’s this kind of grass roots theatre that deserves the support of the community of audience members most—all great theatres had to start somewhere. All great performers have to begin where the opportunities are. Artistic Synergy of Baltimore gives these folks a chance to shine and grow. Let’s make sure they are able to keep doing just that.
“Godspell: In Concert” ran April 8-10, 2022 at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore, 8212 Philadelphia Rd, Rosedale, MD 21237. For more information on upcoming productions at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore, click here.