Saturday, June 22, 2013

Godspell--Day by Day (1972)

    The musical Godspell is based on a series of parables (or stories) in the book of Matthew and Luke from the New Testament in the Bible. It began as a Master's thesis from student John-Michael Tebelak who was a student at Carnegie Mellon University in 1970. After being presented by the members of the student body, it was done in Greenwich Village for a ten day run at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in February 1971.
     Charles Haid, who was the associate director, and who would become very popular as an actor and director later, brought the play to the attention of producer Edgar Lansbury and  Joseph Beruh with the idea of making an off-Broadway production out of it. Stephen Schwartz was brought in to reconfigure the score. He took one original song ("By My Side" by Jay Hamburger and Peggy Gordon), took some lyrics out of the Episcopal Hymnal for some songs, the wrote the rest.
     The song, "Day by Day", took it's refrain from a prayer which is credited to Saint Richard of Chichester. and was released as a single in the early summer of 1972. It reached number thirteen in July of that year. The lead singer on the recorded version is Robin Lamont. It became a successful play in several different runs including Broadway in 1976, and a film version in 1973.


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