The Jesus Christ Superstar cast continues to fall into place with Judas, King Herod and Pontius Pilate being added to a company that already includes Jesus (Glenn Carter) and Caiaphas (Frederick B. Owens). Jason Pebworth will play the betrayer of Jesus; Paul Kandel will play the wicked king who attempts to get the Son of God to "walk across [his] swimming pool," and Kevin Gray will sing the conflicted Roman Pontius Pilate, who allows Jesus Christ to be sentenced to death.
In major American productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas has often been sung by an African American actor, ala Carl Anderson. This revival will depart from that tradition with Pebworth, a newcomer to the Broadway scene, taking the role. Pebworth played Raoul in the US tour of The Phantom of the Opera.
Kandel last performed on Broadway as J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic. Other credits include Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol and a Tony-nominated turn as the child-molesting Uncle Ernie in The Who's Tommy.
Gray traveled the country as Thomas Andrews in Titanic and as the Engineer in Miss Saigon. Broadway roles have included both Raoul and the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and the King in The King And I with Faith Prince.
Carter comes to the U.S. directly from leading London's Whistle Down The Wind as The Man, an escaped murderer mistaken as Jesus by a group of Southern children. That wasn't the actor's first time brush with Christ. He went on to star in Jesus Christ Superstar's UK national tour after performing Simon Zealots in the 1998 West End revival of the show. Australian Edwards directs Carter, with whom she has worked on several projects including that successful British tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and Whistle Down the Wind. Other credits include the UK tour and Australian premiere of Aspects of Love and the Broadway-bound Peter Allen musical, The Boy From Oz. Anthony Van Laast joins her as choreographer.
Designing will be Peter J. Davidson (sets), Roger Kirk (costumes), Mark McCullough (lighting) and Richard Ryan (sound). Lloyd Webber will provide his own orchestrations.
Superstar, the musicalized story of Jesus Christ from Palm Sunday through the crucifixion, made its world premiere on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Oct. 12, 1971. It ran there 720 performances. The original London production ran for eight years and 3,358 performances, the fifth- longest running West End show. Songs from the piece include the U.S. chart hit "I Don't Know How to Love Him" and "Superstar."