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St. Cecilia's Players to present 'Godspell' in June

Date: 5/29/2012

May 28, 2012

By Lori Szepelak

WILBRAHAM — A full-scale show has been the dream of Saint Cecilia's music director, Dr. Todd Rovelli, for several years and now with the help of Eva Stockhamer of East Longmeadow, the dream has become a reality. Stockhamer is serving as "Godspell's" producer, director and choreographer. Both Rovelli and Stockhamer share similar roles when they collaborate on productions for Holyoke Catholic High School's performing arts department.

"We had looked at a few shows, and remembered our experience with 'Godspell' the last time we did it," Stockhamer said during an interview with Reminder Publications. "We also felt it would lend itself to all the generations performing at the same time."

During a recent Monday night rehearsal, everyone arrived at the church's social center promptly at 6, and soon Rovelli had singers engaged in one of the title songs, "We Beseech Thee."

"Adults have very busy lives and we appreciate them giving up time and juggling it with careers and home life, so we are only rehearsing twice a week rather than our three times a week for a musical," Stockhamer said. "The benefit to working with the adults is they are very focused and want to sound wonderful."

Stockhamer said "Godspell" was chosen as the first show because of its "message."

"Merging all of these people who have most likely listened to the Book of Matthew over the years makes it familiar to most," she said.

Stockhamer added that the music is "very moving and fun, and watching three generations of talented people sing it is the icing on the cake."

Among the high school students starring in the production are Brianna Stockhamer, 15, of East Longmeadow, and Kevin Lempke, 18, of Holyoke.

Stockhamer stars as Robin, one of the first followers of Jesus.

"It has been easy to work with all different ages," she said. "We have all come together to be one."

Lempke echoed those sentiments.

"'Godspell' has been an amazing experience," he said. "If I didn't do it, I would have regretted it."

For town resident Barbara Fitzgerald, a parishioner of Saint Cecilia's for 51 years, she noted, "I've never done anything like this before, so I wanted to see if I had it in me."

The best part of "Godspell" for Eva Stockhamer is "getting to work with my daughter, some of her friends, Todd Rovelli, and so many new people, new personalities in a new location."

Tickets are $10 each for the June 8 to 9 performances in the church's social center on Main Street. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Karen at 737-4942. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

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