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Godspell

Through 8/10: Wed 1 and 8 PM, Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4:30 and 8 PM, Sun 1 and 5 PM

Time hasn't been cruel to Godspell—it's been creepy. Back in 1971, when the musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak premiered off-Broadway, audiences were disposed to associate its pop treatment of Jesus's life and teachings with a flower-child vibe, the way they might associate Tang with NASA. Now the vibe has mutated into something more like that of a Christian-rock megachurch service. In Texas. The transformation couldn't be clearer in Matt Raftery's updated staging, which features chirpy, doe-eyed, clean-cut disciples and a short-haired, blond Jesus whose polo shirt makes him look like he just came off the back nine at the club. (Strangely, considering the show's love-thy-neighbor message, the cast evince a noticeably narrow diversity spectrum.) The ostentatious, Jesus-robot sweetness of it all is frustrating in that it overwhelms the production's virtues: occasionally interesting music, universally well-tempered singing voices, and in the second act, a nuanced, visually striking approach to Jesus's dark night of the soul. —Tony Adler $40-$48

Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire (map)
10 Marriott Dr.
Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-634-0200

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Tarzan

7/24-8/3: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM

A staged adaptation of the Disney musical with songs by Phil Collins. $16

Prairie Lakes Community Center (map)
515 E. Thacker St.
Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-516-2298

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