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Rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber opens May 3rd

The Cumberland Theatre will continue their 36th Season with the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The show will run May 3rd – 19th for a total of nine performances.

The first musical by Webber and Rice to be produced for the professional stage, Jesus Christ Superstar has wowed audiences for over 50 years. A timeless work, the rock opera is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Loosely based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Superstar follows the last week of Jesus Christ’s life. The story, told entirely through song, explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples and the Roman Empire.

Originally released as a concept album, the show opened on Broadway in 1971 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. The original London production ran for over eight years. By the time it closed, after 3,358 performances, it had become the longest-running musical in West End history at that time.

Jesus Christ Superstar has been reproduced regularly around the world in the years since its first appearance, with performances including a Broadway revival in 2012, an ITV competition TV show called Superstar that led to casting Ben Forster as Jesus in an arena tour of the show, and a production at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre celebrating 45 years since the musical’s Broadway debut. Two film adaptations have been made: the first released in 1973 with Ted Neely, Carl Anderson and Yvonne Elliman, and the other released in 2000 starring Glenn Carter as Jesus and Jérôme Pradon as Judas.

The iconic 1970s rock score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane.” A true global phenomenon, Superstar continues to touch new generations of audiences and performers.

CT’s upcoming rendition features a 22-person cast (the largest cast to take the stage at Cumberland for past several years) of both local and out-of-town performers. Many of the actors are making their CT debuts.

Heading the cast as Jesus is local actor and singer Jordan Kline. His recent appearances on stage have included Trent in The Prom and Stacey Jaxx in Rock of Ages. Scott O’Brien returns to the CT stage in the role of Judas. O’Brien was last seen on the CT stage in 2020’s production of Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. Making her debut with CT, in the role of Mary Magdalene, will be Emma Schilling.

Also, performing for the first time at CT are John Danley (Caiaphas), Katie Davis (Annas), Jesse Plourde (Pilate) and Josh Carias (Peter) in supporting roles. Additional supporting roles are filled by Connor McCabe (Simon) and Melynda Wintrol (King Herod).

The other members of the Twelve Apostles will be portrayed by Maria Cabral, Robbie Smith, Sawyer Jenkins, Grace LaCount, Marcus Harbinger, Alex Grieves, Justice Courrier and Mark Worth. Rounding out the cast in a bevy of supporting roles are Emily Snyder, Mikayla Dodge, Savannah Tagliaferro, Cordelia Israel and Katie Zimmerman.

The show is being directed by Kimberli Rowley with music direction by Kelly Schrecengost and choreography by Danny Durr. Other creative team members include O’Brien (directing assistant) and Cabral (dance captain).

The design team for the show is comprised of Rhett Wolford (set design), Rachel Saylor (costume design) and Ken Phillips (lighting design). The run crew consists of Brendon McCabe (stage manager) and Rowan Dickson (assistant stage manager).

The show will also feature a live band comprised of Schrecengost, Jaiden Courrier, Mark Kowalski, Dave Armbruster and Zach Dodge.

A preview performance will be held Thursday, May 2nd at 8:00 pm. Following the preview, performances are May 3rd – 19th with Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. An opening reception is included in the ticket price for Friday, May 3rd.

More information on ratings, group sale, etc. can be found on where single tickets are available for purchase as well as 2024 Season Passes. Reservations can also be made by calling the box office at 301.759.4990.

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Excited to catch Jesus Christ Superstar at Cumberland Theatre! It's such a classic rock opera, and I'm looking forward to seeing it live. Plus, with such a talented cast and crew, it's bound to be an amazing performance!

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