Saturday, May 17, 2008

2007-2008 Season Review: Civic Under the Stars – Jesus Christ Superstar

As Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette’s 2007-2008 season heads down the home stretch with its final productions, we will review productions that have comprised this year, beginning with Civic Under the Stars, continuing with the Civic Youth Theatre season and finishing with the Civic MainStage season.

The first production for the 2007-2008 Civic Under the Stars season was Jesus Christ Superstar, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The shows ran July 13-15, 2007. Kate Walker directed and choreographed, David Strand was the music director, Emily Glavash was choral director, Thea Strand produced and Kathy Bruni was stage manager.

The musical presents the last weeks of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. It also tells the story of Judas Iscariot, who questions whether Jesus Christ is divine or just an ordinary man.

In her director’s note for the program, Kate Walker wrote, “Since its release in the early 1970s, productions of Jesus Christ Superstar have been labeled many things, including 'ground-breaking,' 'blasphemous,' 'overly sympathetic to Judas' and 'irreverent.' But the words that come to my mind are 'honest,' 'gritty,' 'human,' 'real,' 'rockin’ and 'authentic.' I happen to love that Superstar presents Christ, the Apostles and the Authorities in all of their human frailty.”

The cast of Jesus Christ Superstar was:

Jesus of Nazareth – Ryan Wellner
Judas Iscariot – Justice Fuller
Mary Magdalene – Mackenzie Davis
Peter – Steve Scherer
James (brother of John) – Jason Overmyer
Simon Zealotes – Aaron Strand
Thadeus – Joey Lynn Foster
Thomas – Zach Roberts
Phillip – Thua Ly-Pham
Matthew – Kim Vruggink
Bartholomew – Clarissa Shinn
Andrew – Andrew Forisha
James (the lesser) – Miles Gresham-Miller
John – Drew Johnson
Caiphas – Don Gresham
Annas – Jesse Janowiak
1st Priest – Ralph Rohrer
2nd Priest – Joel Good
3rd Priest – John Morphew
Pontius Pilate – Craig Lafuse
Herod – John Satterfield
Herod Girls/Soul Girls/Temptresses – Aubrey Brutus, Rachel McKee, Allison Russell, Stefanie Patterson, Liz Bruni
Company – Ellen Good, Stephanie Dana, Joyce Gordon, Jennifer Dobbs, Zach Zaunbrecher, Peg Black, Micki Eberle, Samantha Brickler, Nikki Koester, Elizabeth Yoder, Heather Davis, Rick Walker, Harry Brown
Extras – Amanda Walker, Becky Bruni, Maddie Scherer, Lisa Harker, Gary Tyner
Pit Choir – Shellie Johnson, Sarah Peterson, Marcy Miller, Cathy Shoemaker, Julie Kitchel, Barbara Tyner, Kathy Meeks, Erik Miller, Michael Owens

The orchestra included:

Rehearsal Accompanist/Keyboard – Molly J. Fuller
Keyboard – Gil Gordon
Guitar – Nelson Pelton, Eric Inman
Bass – Nick Willis
Percussion – Charlie Hamrick
Violin – Karen Isaacs, Michael Kim, Jitny McTavish, Meg Isaacs
Viola – Brook Xiao
Cello – Mark Webster, Jordan Buck
Flute/Piccolo – Rachael Snorek, Kristyn Gamble
Clarinet/Sax – Laura Ross
Oboe – Stephanie Mathis
Bassoon – Kelli Gordon
Trumpet – Rico Moser, Loyd F. Stigers
Trombone – Michael Ritchie
French Horn – Mike Munday

The production team and crew included:

Backstage Manager – Bailey Rosa
Backstage Crew – David McCullouch
Costume Designer – Lora Adams
Costume Assistant – Diana Aveline
Set Designer – John David Collier
Master Carpenters – Dave Lahr, Tom Moran
Set Construction and Painting – Steve Scherer, Rick Walker, Drew Johnson, Sherri Bundy, David Walker, Jr., Roland Winger, Civic Youth Theatre Technical Theatre Workshop campers
Properties Design – Cindy Modlin Adams
Properties Mistress – Becky Bruni
Lights – Chris Purpura
Sound – Steve Koehler
Tap Choreographer – Melanie R. Buchanan
House Manager and Concessions Manager – Linda Thinnes

What are your memories from the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette production of Jesus Christ Superstar? Share them your thoughts by leaving a comment, and let's discuss!

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

One of the vivid memories I have from watching Jesus Christ Superstar was the 39 lashes in the second act. It was violent, theatrical and very powerful ... enough to really affect me.

Not all theater has to be upbeat and pleasant in order to affect the audience, and the 39 lashes from Superstar confirmed that for me. Powerful, powerful stuff.