John Johnson Remembered

YOUNG HOLLISTON ACTORS FEATURED IN “GODSPELL”

by Nancy Baron
June 14, 2018

Opening night will be a homecoming of sorts for Holliston’s Nick Lynch when he steps on stage as Jesus in Backstage Repertory’s June 22-24 production of “Godspell”.   The 2014 Holliston High School graduate, a newly-minted graduate of the theatre training program at Marymount Manhattan College, returns to his roots by reuniting not only with fellow HHS grads but also with Brian Hickey, his former high school drama teacher, who is now the founder and artistic director of the one-year-old Bellingham-based theatre company.

“I was so excited when Brian called and asked if I might be interested in coming home to play Jesus,” Lynch says.  “I’d had the opportunity to play Judas for Brian several years ago, so now I feel kind of like I’m coming full circle.  I’m so looking forward to performing again for family and friends, and to playing this fantastic role.”

“This time”, explains Lynch, “we’re doing the 2012 Broadway revival version, which is more topical than the original 1971 version and has some great additional songs.  I’ll get to sing ‘Beautiful City’, which was one of my senior showcase pieces at Marymount.  It’s like it was meant to be!”

Joining Lynch in this talented cast are six other Holliston residents, many also trained by Hickey.  Other recent HHS alums are Kyra Allen, (Class of 2017 and now a sophomore at UVM) and brand new HHS 2018 grads Amanda Willis and Andrew Balestieri, who are headed to James Madison University and Suffolk University respectively, this fall.  Current Holliston students Julia Guisti-Kizik, a rising senior, and rising juniors Sophie Campbell and Liv Skerry, round out the Holliston contingent.  Amanda, Julia and Liv are all Backstage Rep veterans, having performed in productions of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, “A Christmas Carol” and “Little Mermaid, Jr.” during the company’s inaugural season.  Rounding out the cast are Backstage Rep regulars, Andrew Falanga and Conlon T., both juniors at Franklin HS, and Rhode Island native Lauren McGuirk, a junior Bishop Feehan HS.

­­­­­“Godspell” was the break-out hit for its creator, Stephen Schwartz, who went on to garner additional fame with the shows “Wicked”, “Pippin” and “Children of Eden”.  A sensation from the start, “Godspell” features many beloved songs such as “Day by Day”, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”, “Learn Your Lessons Well”, “All for the Best­­­­”, “All Good Gifts”, “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side”.

­ The show marks the fourth production and start of the second season for Backstage Repertory Company.   BRC is the realization of a dream for Brian Hickey.  “I’ve always wanted to create a company that would bring affordable, professional-level theatre to audiences in the Metrowest area, and to establish a nurturing training environment for young performers,” says Hickey.  “So far, I think we’ve been successful.  Our first season involved more than 70 performers and others from more than 15 communities in three states.  And many have been repeat participants.  We’ve had a lot of positive feedback and look forward to producing more great shows like “Godspell”!

 “Godspell” will be presented Friday June 22 through Sunday June 24 at the Marketplace Theatre, 799 S. Main St. Bellingham.  It’s an easy 10-minute drive south of Home Depot on Rt. 126, or just five minutes from Exit 17 off of Rt. 495.  Performances are at 7:30 on Friday and Saturday, with 2:00 matinees on Saturday and Sunday.  For tickets, please visit: https://brc.booktix.com/  Tickets will also be available at the door prior to performances, but patrons are urged to purchase in advance as the venue is an intimate performance space with limited seating.

   Front row:  Andrew Balestieri, Andrew Falanga, Liv Skerry

    Middle row: Julia Guisti-Kizik, Conlon T., Kyra Allen, Lauren McGuirk, Amanda Willis, Sophie Campbell

    Top: Nick Lynch

 

 

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