Will Stratford Festival's Jesus Christ Superstar Play Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre?

News   Will Stratford Festival's Jesus Christ Superstar Play Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre?
 
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's popular Des McAnuff-directed revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, which will move to La Jolla Playhouse in southern California starting in November, may be heading to Broadway.

Josh Young as Judas
Josh Young as Judas Photo by David Hou

The New York Post reports that the critically acclaimed Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical will play the Neil Simon Theatre in spring 2012. The Simon is currently the home of the Tony-nominated musical Catch Me If You Can, which will end its run in September.

The pop-rock musical of the last days of Jesus got enthusiastic reviews in Ontario, and earned the approval of lyricist Rice and composer Lloyd Webber. The full Stratford cast is expected to make the move to California.

Jesus Christ Superstar will play La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla, CA, from Nov. 18 to Dec. 31. It's currently playing in rep at Stratford's proscenium Avon Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, to Oct. 29.

No official announcement about a Broadway production has been made. A spokesman for the Stratford Festival told Playbill.com on Aug. 10 that there is currently no rights agreement for a Broadway run of the Stratford production, so any talk of placing the show in a Broadway house is premature. 

This new staging features Paul Nolan as Jesus, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Josh Young as Judas Iscariot, Tony Award winner Brent Carver (Kiss of the Spider Woman) as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod and Mike Nadajewski as Peter. The creative team includes choreographer Lisa Shriver, musical director Rick Fox, set designer Robert Brill, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley, sound designer Jim Neil, video designer Sean Nieuwenhuis, dramaturg Chad Sylvain, fight director Daniel Levinson, aerial stunt coordinator Simon Fon.

Before joining the Stratford Shakespeare Festival as artistic director, McAnuff was artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse 1983-1994 and 2001-2007, and is now director emeritus. A two-time Tony Award-winning director, McAnuff received an honorary doctorate in June from his alma mater, Ryerson University in Toronto.

Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene and Paul Nolan as Jesus.
Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene and Paul Nolan as Jesus. Photo by David Hou
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