This Halloween, URP brings us Jesus Christ Superstar at the Centennial Theatre. It’s a 70s rock opera with music by Andrew Llyod Wbber and lyrics by Tim Rice. Focusing on the character of Judas, by Ali Watson, the sung-through musical has sprinkles of the 1970s as well. In this production directed by Richard Berg, the title role is played by Nick Heffelfinger.
As Jesus Christ Superstar has been produced twice already by URP in 1995 and 2004, the cast will be much smaller in this production and attention is on the fact that Judas, Pilate and Herod are all played by women.
“Typically the cast is much larger than that. We have also approached the casting in a non-traditional manner. We held open auditions and cast the strongest actor/singers we could for each role, regardless of gender.” says URP producter/director Richard Berg. “The result is that while Jesus and Mary are traditionally cast, many of the traditionally male roles are being played by female actors. We are not trying to make any big political statement or anything like that. We simply want to tell the story in an exciting and entertaining way with the best performers we could get.”
While the production is not gender-bent, there is much anticipation for the three women that fit the roles perfectly and their commendable performance.