In 2003, a new creative team is reinventing the story of Christ in the form of a rock opera called !Hero, which will be packaged like a rock concert and tour the United States beginning Nov. 1.
The non-Equity musical is part of a "multi-faceted music and book concept that began development with a vision to get people talking." A trilogy of novels and a comic book/graphic novel will tell the modern-day story of a messiah named !Hero — complete with an exclamation point — born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Christian-rock recording and concert artists such as Michael Tait (as !Hero), Rebecca St. James (as Maggie) and Mark Stuart (playing Petrov) appear in the tour.
"All of my career in music has been geared around reaching people with the message," creator Eddie DeGarmo said in production notes in the show's website, www.herouniverse.com. "When the idea for !Hero came to me, it was based on a desire to get people talking about Jesus. It is that simple. What began as that idea has found expression in multiple art forms — recorded music, books and graphic novels, and eventually, live performances. Art has always been a platform to share the Gospel, and we are utilizing literary and music forms God has opened to us through the people he attracted to this project. Bob Farrell collaborated on the music and Stephen Lawhead has taken the !Hero story to levels that amaze me." Taking a page from Lloyd Webber and Rice (and The Who and others), the creators produced a double-album concept disc prior to the public presentation of the show.
The show is repped by Creative Artists Agency and includes an ensemble cast and a multi-media set.
The tour schedule for !Hero includes:
Nov. 1 Honeywell Theater, Wabash , IN
Nov. 2 McAlister Auditorium, Greenville, SC
Nov. 3 Wright Center, Birmingham, AL
Nov. 5 Manatee Civic Center, Sarasota , FL
Nov. 6 Calvary Assembly, Orlando, FL
Nov. 8 Township, Sewell, NJ
Nov. 9 Hylton Chapel, Woodbridge, VA
Nov. 10 Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, Williamsville, NY
Nov. 11 Grove City, Columbus, OH
Nov. 13 Bethseda Church, Detroit, MI
Nov. 14 Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland, OH
Nov. 15 Arena, Green Bay, WI
Nov. 16 Grand Rapids First Assembly, Wyoming, MI
Nov. 17 Star Plaza Theater, Merrillville, IN
Nov. 18 Orchard Hill, Wexford, PA
Nov. 20 The Brady Theater, Tulsa, OK
Nov. 21 Nextstage, Dallas (Grand Prairie), TX
Nov. 22 KSBJ, Houston, TX
Nov. 23 Laurie Auditorium, San Antonio, TX