Stage Reviews

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The Gospel at Colonus Directed by local theater luminary Ivan Sandoval (Hamlet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf), The Gospel at Colonus is based on Sophocles’ final installment of the Oedipus story, “Oedipus at Colonus,” and uses the power of gospel music to carry the audience through Oedipus’ redemption while holding true to the message and emotion of the original Greek drama. The Gospel at Colonus is California Musical Theatre’s seventh Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project presentation. The project was launched in 1995 to cultivate and promote new or rare works of musical theater written or performed by African-American artists. Starring a plethora of local actors such as James Wheatley, Lavinia Cooper, Joel Diefenbacher from “Best of Broadway” and a number of others, this year’s presentation is a tour de force, with soul-stirring revival music and an incredible cast. The production is a powerful and moving feast for the soul as well as the senses, with a number of memorable moments, from testifier Polyneices’ (Vincent Harrison) pleas with Oedipus to forgive him, to Bill Miller’s overwhelmingly powerful vocal range during numbers like “Through My Tears” and “Lift Me Up.” The Gospel at Colonus challenges its audience to believe that love lasts beyond death and to have hope in a world of difficult choices. See it: California Musical Theatre , 8pm Th-Sa, 4pm Su. CSUS University Theater, 6000 J St. Tickets are free, 557-1999. Through Jan. 21.