When John-Michael Tebelak developed the idea for Godspell, he focused on Jesus as a teacher and didn’t include Bible stories about miraculous healing. But Tebelak and the other show creators did want to enhance the production with stage magic, such as the appearance of something new coming out of nowhere in a seemingly miraculous way.
Original cast member Stephen Nathan, who played Jesus, had been a fan of magic for many years. He brought in props from his own collection to make the show more magically entertaining while illustrating points. For example, he made flowers appear magically from nowhere when he spoke of lilies of the field. While delivering a line about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing, he transformed a scarf from one color to another with the sweep of his hands.
What magic have you seen? Did you know you can find “Appearing Cane” or other illusions on Amazon.com: Appearing Cane? Also available Appearing Bouquet Magic appearing bouquet and Magic Color-Changing Hanky – Easy Magic Trick with Silks
In productions of Godspell, Jesus and Judas often use the magic trick of the appearing cane during “All for the Best.” You can see an example of this on a Youtube version of the song sung by original cast members Stephen Nathan and David Haskell about 20 or 30 years after their first performance. In the middle of the song, Stephen Nathan makes canes appear out of thin air, and then he and Haskell dance with them.