Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” opens a two-week run this tomorrow at Anne Arundel Community College.
The story recounts the last days of Jesus’ life through such memorable songs as “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright,” “Hosanna” and “Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say).” This second collaboration between Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics), “Jesus Christ Superstar” originally was produced in 1969 as a concept album to get the attention of producers to bring it to Broadway. The show arrived on stage in 1971 and was made into a film directed by Norman Jewison in 1973, 40 years ago.
The AACC version combines the talents of regional artists, AACC students, Opera AACC, AACC Concert Choir, AACC Chamber Singers and the AACC Rock Opera Orchestra. The production is directed and conducted by Douglas Brandt Byerly, chair of AACC’s performing arts department, with set design by Michael Klima and chorus preparation by Eleanor Minor.
“I am very excited to bring rock opera back to the stage at AACC. As this is the 40th anniversary of the release of the 1973 film version of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” we wanted to pay homage to the great rock opera tradition,” Byerly said.
Washington, D.C. performer Benjamin Lurye portrays Jesus, with Robert Bradley of Riva as Judas, Emily Sergo of Odenton as Mary Magdalene and Peter N. Crews of Annapolis as Pontius Pilate. Other main characters include Greg Baron of Arnold as Peter, Larry Ellinghaus of Baltimore as Annas, Christopher Leabhart of Pasadena as Herod, Anwar Thomas of Bowie as Simon Peter and Augustino Zapata of Glen Burnie as Caiaphas.
Show times are 8 p.m. Feb. 1, 2, 8 and 9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, all in the Robert E. Kauffman Theater in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts on AACC’s Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway. Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 AACC faculty/staff; patrons older than 60 and non-AACC students and $5 for AACC students with AACC identification. To reserve tickets, contact the box office at 410-777-2457or firstname.lastname@example.org.