Think Cats is amazing for running `now and forever'? Think The Fantasticks' record of 15,000 performances is fantastic? Well, they are. . .but check out The Passion Play, a religious pageant-play returning for its 82nd year at the Park Performing Arts Center in Union, NJ.
The show began previews March 1, to open March 15 for a run through April 20 on a weekend matinee schedule. Of course, this means the show will coincide with Palm Sunday (March 23), Good Friday (March 28) and Easter Sunday (March 30).
Since 1915, this American version of the 300+year-old Oberammergau Passion Play has reenacted the final days of Jesus Christ, utilizing 15 musical numbers and more than 50 professional and local actors. The drama moved to the 1400-seat Park Performing Arts Center in 1931.
This year, Eric Hafen (PPAC artistic director) and Daniel P. Quinn will co-direct the Passion Play, which will have two Christs: Joseph Bukovec, who has played the King of Kings for more than a dozen years, and Dez [sic], an African-American performer. Dez's other theatre credits include Off-Broadway's Black Metropolis and Black Men Cry, Too.
For tickets ($12.50-$20) and information on The Passion Play call (201) 865-6980. --By David Lefkowitz