Wednesday, September 22, 2004

ACT Presents Jesus Christ Superstar

“What’s the buzz, tell me what’s happening” sings the chorus in Jesus Christ Superstar. And this fall, there is no shortage of buzz about ACT’s production of Superstar to be staged in November.

“What’s the buzz, tell me what’s happening” sings the chorus in Jesus Christ Superstar. And this fall, there is no shortage of buzz about ACT’s production of Superstar to be staged in November.

Having just completed a highly successful run of Murder in the Cathedral at the Indian River Festival, ACT is rehearsing Jesus Christ Superstar to appear at the Confederation Centre November 4th, 5th, and 6th. ACT organizers report that they’ve never experienced as much community “buzz” about a production as they have for Jesus Christ Superstar. Over 80 individuals from all over the Island, and of all ages, auditioned for the production.


Jesus Christ Superstar is the 1970 hit that launched Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s careers in musical theatre – resulting in long-running productions such as Cats, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. Superstar is a mix of intense drama with 1960s/70s music, emotional solos, a pulsing beat and dramatic orchestral backing. Most people will be familiar with Mary Magdalene’s heart-wrenching solo I Don’t Know How to Love Him.

When Jesus Christ Superstar was first produced, there was initial scepticism in some religious quarters that soon gave way to genuine interest as church groups came to appreciate the lyrics and music and have also staged Superstar.

Similar to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the story of Jesus Christ Superstar covers the final week of Jesus’ life. While not an overtly religious play, Superstar poses questions for both Christians and non-Christians alike as to the nature of this central figure at the core of Christianity.

A strong production crew and cast of professionals and amateurs have come together for what promises to be a powerful production. Allie McCrady is directing and Shirley Anne Cameron is directing the music, with choreography by Julia Sauvé. Anne Putnam and Garnet Gallant have plans for the set that includes astonishing effects - stark stone, disco glitter, and real water.

Accomplished vocalist Jeremy Hickey plays Jesus and well-known rock musician Albert Kays will perform the central role of Judas. Maria Campbell, as Mary Magdalene, will move the audience with her rendition of I Don’t Know How to Love Him. Well known media guru David Moses is a coldly riveting Pilate. There’s a cast of 45 performers and a strong orchestra in the pit.

Jesus Christ Superstar is ACT’s 25th production and leads the company into its 10th anniversary season. Tickets are affordable for a main stage performance at $16 and $18 and are available at the Confederation Centre Box Office at 566-1267.



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