PHOTO SPECIAL: Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar Players on the Stratford Stage

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28 Jun 2012

The Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, which began life in 2011 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, fades into the sunset July 1 when it plays its final performance at the Neil Simon Theatre. Playbill.com looks at some of the other roles that JCS cast members have taken on at the acclaimed Ontario festival over the years.



The principal cast of Superstar is composed of both newcomers and Stratford veterans, such as Bruce Dow who has spent 12 seasons at the Fest.



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Chilina Kennedy and Josh Young in The Grapes of Wrath
Photo by David Hou



The new, multimedia staging of Superstar, shaped by Tony-winning director Des McAnuff (The Who's Tommy, Jersey Boys), first debuted in an extended, sold-out run last summer at Ontario's Stratford Festival, nabbing strong critical reviews and the blessing of its writers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Prior to the start of Broadway previews on March 1, Superstar played a Nov. 18-Dec. 31, 2012, engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse. When it closes, it will have played 116 performances and 24 previews.

The new, high-tech production is the second Broadway revival of the biblical rock opera that debuted on Broadway in 1971 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre for a 711-performance run. A 2000 revival, which played the Ford Center, lasted 161 performances.

A cast album from the revival has not been announced.

Jesus Christ Superstar earned Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations for Best Musical Revival, and Josh Young received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won a Theatre World Award for his role as Judas Iscariot.

Paul Nolan leads the cast as Jesus Christ, with 2012 Tony Award nominee Josh Young as Judas Iscariot, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod, Marcus Nance as Caiaphas and Aaron Walpole as Annas.

Completing the cast are Matt Alfano as Thaddeus, Mary Antonini as Elizabeth, Karen Burthwright as Ruth, Jacqueline Burtney as Mary (Martha's Sister), Mark Cassius as Matthew, Ryan Gifford as Bartholomew, Kaylee Harwood as Sarah, Jeremy Kushnier as James the Lesser/Priest, Mike Nadajewski as Peter, Melissa O'Neil as Martha/Maid by the Fire, Laurin Padolina as Rachel, Katrina Reynolds as Esther, Jaz Sealey as Thomas, Jason Sermonia as John, Julius Sermonia as James, Lee Siegel as Simon Zealotes, Leo Ash Evens as Phillip, Sandy Winsby as Andrew, and Nick Cartell, Krista Leis, Matthew Rossoff and Matt Stokes as swings.

Superstar has choreography by Lisa Shriver, musical direction by Rick Fox, set design by Robert Brill, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy and video design by Sean Nieuwenhuis.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar is produced The Dodgers and The Really Useful Group, Latitude Link, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, Waxman-Dokton, with Joe Corcoran, Detsky/Sokolowski/Kassie, Florin-Blanshay-Fan/Broadway Across America, REG/Caudwell, Shin/Coleman, Theatre Dreams North America, LLC.

For tickets visit Ticketmaster, or phone (877) 250-2929.

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The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2012 season includes Much Ado About Nothing; 42nd Street, The Matchmaker; Henry V; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Pirates of Penzance; A Word or Two; Cymbeline; Wanderlust; Elektra; MacHomer; The Best Brothers; Hirsch and The War of 1812.

For more information, visit stratfordfestival.ca.