Posted 12 months ago
By Scott Carlson
Jesus Christ Superstar is a “rock opera” and a dramatized version of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. Well-known songs from the production include, I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and “Superstar.” It was the first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage, and it debuted on Broadway in October 1971.
Jesus Christ Superstar first came to major theatres when it debuted on Broadway in October 1971 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York. The Broadway production ran for 720 performances, and Andrew Lloyd Webber won the prestigious Drama Desk Award as Most Promising Composer for Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972.
Less than 12 months after the Broadway show opened, the rock spectacle went to London, exploding onto the West End at the Palace Theatre in August 1972 in a hugely successful production directed by Jim Sharman and starring Paul Nicholas singing the part of Jesus.
Arriving in London that same year for the UK premiere of his ‘Fifteenth Symphony’, Dmitri Shostakovich asked to see a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. He was so impressed by what he heard and saw that he went back the following night to see it again, commenting that he would have liked to try some of the instruments.
By 1980, after 3,358 performances, Jesus Christ Superstar had become the longest running musical in West End history at the time.
Two decades later, Jesus Christ Superstar received its first blessing from the Vatican when a production by Massimo Romeo Piparo’s Peep Arrow company was endorsed by the Vatican’s official 2000 Jubilee Programme. Songs from the show were performed in front of Pope John Paul II in Rome during the Jubilee in May of that year.
Performances will be held February 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16, with the Friday and both Saturday performances beginning at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the NPCP office Monday through Friday from Noon-5:00, online at www.northplattecommunityplayhouse.com or at the door prior to each performance. Admission is $15.00 for Adults and $8.00 for children and students.
Jesus Christ Superstar is produced through a special arrangement with Rodgers and Hammerstein, Inc., and is made possible, in part, by the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment of the Arts.
The production is directed by Lori Evans with Music Director Glenn Van Velson.
Judas – Mark Cullinan
Jesus- Mike Crom
Mary Magdalene – Ashley Aloi
Peter – Brad Godfrey
Annas – Matt Pederson
Caiaphas – Andrew Lee
Priest – Malachi Murtaugh
Pilate – Jim Shreck
Herod – Tom Clements
Men’s Chorus – Sam Fornander, Jared Gafke, Philip Ryan, Wayne Stafford & Seth Vapenik
Women’s Chorus – Suzanne Deardoff, Britnee Fear, Peggy Fox, Sue McKain, Traci Sawyer, Traci Shavlik, Bea Webster & Tiffany Wood