PHOTO ARCHIVE: Jesus Christ Superstar on Stage and Screen

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29 Feb 2012

The new Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar begins previews March 1. Playbill.com looks back at a number of past stage and screen adaptations of the rock opera.

Superstar first came to life as a 1970 double LP, which is credited as the birth of the musical theatre concept recording. The show opened at Broadway's Mark Hellinger Theatre in October 1971. Director Tom O'Horgan's cast featured Jeff Fenholt as Jesus, Ben Vereen as Judas and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene.

It received Broadway revivals in 1977 (starring William Daniel Grey and Patrick Jude) and 2000 (with Glenn Carter and Tony Vincent).

Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson starred in the 1973 film adaptation, which was directed by Norman Jewison and shot on location in Israel.

Superstar has been staged all around the world regularly over the last 40 years.



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Jeff Fenholt and company in the original Broadway production
Photo by Friedman-Abeles





Directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy), Jesus Christ Superstar was a critical hit at the Stratford Festival, where it played an extended, sold-out run last summer. It transferred to the La Jolla Playhouse for an engagement through Dec. 31. Superstar will officially open on Broadway March 22.

The work was initially conceived a stadium event, according to current director McAnuff, whose new production straddles Christ's historic rise as a religious phenomenon and contemporary media sensationalism, through the incorporation of news tickers. The cinematic staging puts focus on the multi-layered emotional triangle between Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot and Mary Madgelene.

Paul Nolan leads the cast as Jesus Christ, with 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, Jonathan Winsby 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.

Dodger Properties and the Really Useful Group produce the Broadway production.

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