What is it about spring 2000? Jesus Christ keeps popping up in musicals around New York City. Following the Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and a successful Off-Broadway production of Godspell is the new musical The Last Supper, opening March 22 at St. Luke's Church for a run through April 1.
Commissioned by the Duke of Milan to create a mural for the Monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie's dining room, painter Leonardo da Vinci finds himself staring at a blank white canvas he cannot fill. The subject is supposed to be based on the moment when Jesus announces to his disciples "One of you will betray me." In 1495, da Vinci’s fortunes had changed -- all the promises made for his inventions and war machines were broken. Not having painted in 10 years, he had nothing to inspire him -- except an angel.
Reverend Andrew Krey took this original concept to book writer Thomas Mitz and composer Gary William Friedman. Oratorio-like, most of the singing is done by the chorus (in this staging, the Time Warner Singers led by choir director Laurie Vargas) with two characters standing alone: the Angel (Stevie Holland) and a Hebrew-speaking Jesus. Songs in the score include "God Has a Plan For Me," "How Deep is Your Gaze," "When It Was Easy" and "Didn't You Know."
Holland is a recording and concert artist, married to composer Friedman. Friedman is best known for his Off-Broadway hit, The Me Nobody Knows.
Tickets are $20. St. Luke's Church is located at 308 West 46th Street. For reservations, call (212) 279-4200. The Last Supper is on the web at http://lastsuppermusical.com *
Three performances of The Last Supper will follow April 17-19 at the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut. For information and tickets, call (203) 759-5882.
-- By Christine Ehren