Judas Kiss: Illness Sidelines Jesus Christ Superstar's Josh Young Prior to Opening Night

News   Judas Kiss: Illness Sidelines Jesus Christ Superstar's Josh Young Prior to Opening Night
The Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock musical about the rise of the religious icon, is soldiering on without its betrayer. Actor Josh Young, who is making his Broadway debut as Judas Iscariot, has been out of the production due to illness.

Josh Young
Josh Young Photo by Joan Marcus

Young, who also starred as Che in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Evita, originated the role of Judas in director Des McAnuff's original staging at Stratford last summer in Ontario, earning strong reviews for his performance.

He's been absent from the production as of the March 20 evening performance, just as Superstar approaches its March 22 opening night. Representatives for the production rescheduled reviewing press as much as possible. Young will not appear in the March 21 evening performance. Jeremy Kushnier has taken on the role of Judas in Young's absence.

"It was extremely unfortunate timing that Josh became sick over the past week," his representative said in a statement to Playbill.com. "He has been with Jesus Christ Superstar since its inception in Canada and was saddened that this happened at such a crucial time, and rendered him unable to perform. Josh is waiting for his doctor to clear him to rejoin his cast. Nothing brings him more joy than performing the role of Judas with this amazing company of actors and he cannot wait to return to his work."

In Playbill.com's upcoming Leading Men column, Young spoke about playing Judas in the acclaimed new production. "I think you need a visionary director like Des [McAnuff] who can think outside the box and see [Jesus Christ Superstar] with a fresh pair of eyes. Luckily, he did. Vocally, I'm much different, and my demeanor is much different than other guys I've known who have played it. I try to make Judas a very sympathetic character and even a hero in the story," he said. 

The central cast also features Paul Nolan as Jesus, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod, Marcus Nance as Caiaphas and Aaron Walpole as Annas. Dodger Properties and the Really Useful Group produce the Broadway production.

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

View Playbill.com's highlights of Superstar below:

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