A folk/rock musical about Christian worship To Whom It May Concern. Musical by Carol Hall. Directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald. Musical direction and staging by Michael O'Flaherty.
| New York
``To Whom It May Concern'' is a genial attempt, cast in the ``Godspell'' mode, to rethink aspects of worship and the validity of Christianity in these modern times. Carol Hall is credited with the script, as well as the music and lyrics, for this ``musical celebration.'' The show requires 13 singing actors, an accomplished pianist-music director, and a church (in New York, St. Stephen's at 69th Street just east of Broadway).
On the surface of things the show might appear to have the most validity for Episcopalians, since the structure of the intermissionless hour-and-a-half is based on the Episcopal service. But Miss Hall's ideas and ideals are refreshingly ecumenical.
The characters all tend to be wholesome, enthusiastic clich'es, each a readily identifiable type with a particular problem -- be it a lack of faith, a failed relationship, marital troubles, death of a sibling, etc. The jokes are sometimes clever, sometimes corny; the air of goodwill is almost too unrelieved.
Miss Hall's lyrics are sturdy, most of the tunes serviceable in the folk/rock idiom that ``Godspell'' institutionalized. The cast -- which includes Miss Hall and another noted songwriter, Gretchen Cryer -- performs with unusual zest and spontaneity. Among the cast members are two voices of arresting impact (Kecia Lewis-Evans and Al DeCristo), and Miss Cryer proves to be a gifted comic monologist.
With limited facilities and honest intentions, ``To Whom It May Concern'' manages to remind the observer, with warmth and wit, that true worship is not a ritual but an ongoing communication with the Almighty.