Six seniors stood out when Nikki Rowe High School performed the brilliant musical “Godspell” eight times in January.
All performances this year sold every ticket. With 485 seats, the fabled Rowe High Choir set new attendance records with its 17th musical since 1993.
This high school equivalent to a Broadway musical dazzled hundreds of Winter Texans, plus all the families and friends lucky enough to wait hours for a ticket.
“Godspell” was performed at Rowe for the third time after 1993 and 2000. It probably has broken all box-office records for Valley amateur theatre. The Valley’s colleges and universities rarely attract stage audiences to match Rowe’s.
Joshua Arguelles did an excellent job in the long, demanding role playing Jesus in a modern hip setting, then performing the trial and suffering of Christ in the second act.
The other seniors deserve special mention because they had longer roles and more lines than most, and have grown considerably in them. They are Nicole de los Santos, Caitlin Hinojosa, Kris Romero, Brittney Smith and Nikki Warren.
All the others who sang solos, duets or trios show additional talent, well done. They are Hanna Arguelles, Valerie Nunez, Avery Rogers, Pete Salazar, Jackie Ybanez and Andres Davila.
The rest of the cast proved a powerful, funny and robust bunch who sang, joked and despaired, along with other virtues and vices onstage. The chorus crew included Jenny Beltran, Rigo Leal, Marco Lopez, Memo Rodriguez, and Kaz Sakaguchi.
An electricity in the air like Broadway stages fills the Rowe auditorium, where these Rowe Choir veterans grow up fast and talented.
The band — Director Debra Morton, keyboard; Tom Mynum, bass; Joe Carrera, guitars; and George Pena, percussion — create the strong illusion of a band triple their size. They capture the spirit of a wild, funny show, both irreverent and reverent.
See more annual shows from them. Buy tickets early for their next show, while hopefully, they will stage “Godspell” again soon.
All the production staff deserve a raise. The program lists them like this:
Production Director, E.A.Tanner; Stage Director & Choreography, Lee Hibbetts; Musical Director and Choreography, Debra Morton; Associate Director & Costumes, Janet Doyle; Set Design, Lee Hibbetts and Debra Morton; Promotion & House Manager, Joyce Hull; Tickets and Program Design, Carlos Alfaro; Sound, Ed Arguelles; Lighting, Leslie Tanner; Stage & Properties, Pauline Sexton and Mariana Castillo; House, Arianna Astudillo and La Tanya Bell-Fullen; Set Construction, Micky Pelletier.