Prior to Broadway, Jesus Christ Superstar Opens Nov. 30 at La Jolla Playhouse | Playbill

News Prior to Broadway, Jesus Christ Superstar Opens Nov. 30 at La Jolla Playhouse
The La Jolla Playhouse engagement of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's critically acclaimed (and Broadway-bound) production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar opens Nov. 30 at LJP's Mandell Weiss Theatre. Paul Nolan, Jeremy Kushnier and Josh Young star under the direction of Tony Award winner Des McAnuff.

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

Previews began Nov. 18 for a run to Dec. 31 in La Jolla, CA. The La Jolla Playhouse cast features Bruce Dow as King Herod, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Kushnier (Footloose) as Pontius Pilate, Mike Nadajewski as Peter, Nolan as Jesus and Young as Judas, with Marcus Nance as Caiaphas, Lee Siegel as Simon Zealotes and Aaron Walpole as Annas. Tony Award winner Brent Carver created the role of Pilate in Stratford, ON, in summer 2011.

Also in 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, Melissa O’Neil as Martha/Maid by the Fire, Laurin Padolina as Rachel, Stephen Patterson as James the Lesser, Katrina Reynolds as Esther, Jaz Sealey as Thomas, Jason Sermonia as John, Julius Sermonia as James, Jonathan Winsby as Phillip, Sandy Winsby as Andrew and Jennifer Rider-Shaw and Matthew Rossoff as swings.

McAnuff (Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy) directs. Choreography is by Lisa Shriver.

This ground-breaking rock opera, according to LJP, "tells the story of the last week of Christ’s life. The zeal with which Christ’s followers are hailing him as the Son of God becomes a source of dismay to his disciple Judas Iscariot. Fearing that this tide of religious fervor will provoke brutal repression by the occupying Romans, Judas must make his fateful choice between faith and betrayal." The Stratford production, which closed Nov. 6, received glowing reviews across the board.

Following the Playhouse run, Superstar will open on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre March 22, 2012, following previews that begin March 1. Broadway casting has yet to be announced, according to a La Jolla Playhouse spokesperson. Tickets are available online at or at (858) 550-1010.

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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