Kohler, who will play Jesus, is replacing originally announced star Jonathan Groff, who will re-create his role of Melchior in Spring Awakening on Broadway, beginning in November. Kohler is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. De Jesus, who is replacing ensemble member Jimmy Smagula, is best known for playing Michael in the film Camp and has appeared on Broadway in Rent. Chase, who is replacing ensemble member Megan Lewis, appeared Off-Broadway in Slut and at New York Stage & Film in Prairie.
Godspell will be directed by Daniel Goldstein, whose credits include Indoor/Outdoor and the Huntington Theatre Company production of Falsettos. The cast also includes Uzo Aduba, Sarah Bolt, Holly Davis, Joshua Henry, Patrick Heusinger, Anika Larsen, Telly Leung, and Julie Reiber. The creative team will feature Dan Knechtges (choreography), David Korins (sets), Miranda Hoffman (costumes), Ben Stanton (lighting), Randy Hansen (sound), and Loren Toolajian (musical direction).
Originally conceived and directed by John-Michel Tebelak, based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, Godspell features a cast of characters who bring to life the parables of Jesus Christ. The score includes such songs as "Day By Day," "All Good Gifts," and "Turn Back, O Man." The show had a five-year Off-Broadway run at the Cherry Lane Theatre from 1971 to 1976, winning four Drama Desk Awards; it then moved to Broadway in June 1976 and played for more than 525 performances at three different theaters. The Broadway production earned Schwartz a Tony Award nomination for Best Score.
The 1973 film version of Godspell starred Victor Garber as Jesus. An Off-Broadway revival in 2000 featured a cast of rising stars, including Barrett Foa (as Jesus), Shoshana Bean, Will Erat, Chad Kimball, Capathia Jenkins, and Leslie Kritzer.