Following in the wake of Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell earlier in the decade, Your Arms Too Short to Box with God from writer and director Vinnette Carroll was yet another musical theater retelling of the story of Jesus, in this case a musical adaptation of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Carroll and songwriters Alex Bradford and Micki Grant, all of whom had worked together on the 1972 Broadway musical Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, developed the show for the Urban Arts Corps to be performed at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, in the summer of 1975; it arrived on Broadway on December 22, 1976, where it ran for 149 performances. The concept is simple: Christ's story told from his period of preaching to his crucifixion. The musical style is elaborated black gospel (no stranger to the story line), with some pop elements. Since the music sometimes seems merely generic, the show is heavily dependent on the performers, yielding strong work from William Hardy, Jr., Clinton Derricks-Carroll, Salome Bey, and Delores Hall.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann