The musical credited with changing Broadway - and the Broadway musical - into a rock music-friendly medium was Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971. Unable to get funding for a West End production, Webber and Rice created a concept cast album in 1969, which ultimately led to the Broadway production and making theatre history.
The story of Jesus Christ Superstar follows the final days of Jesus' life, told in varying styles of modern music, from rock to Broadway to campy 1920's Tin Pan Alley. At the center of the story is the triangle between Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene, with subplots based on the crucifixion narrative.
Superstar is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's most well-known musicals. Together, they created the songs for the Tony-winning musical Evita, which is also being revived on Broadway in 2012, as well as the recent London production of The Wizard of Oz. Webber is the composer of other Broadway phenomena such as Cats and the longest-running musical in Broadway history, The Phantom of the Opera. Tim Rice penned the lyrics for the Broadway rock musical, Aida. In 1996, Webber and Rice teamed up to write a new song for the film version of their emotionally charged musical Evita, "You Must Love Me," which won an Academy Award for Best Song.
Jesus' Second Coming in 2012
The 2012 Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar began as a sold-out production at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. The Stratford's production of Superstar was produced by The Dodgers and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group.
From there, a run at Broadway show incubator LaJolla Playhouse in San Diego, California, cemented Superstar's potential for a Broadway revival. Previews began March 1, 2012, with its Opening Night set for March 22, 2012, at the Neil Simon Theatre located at 250 West 52nd Street.
Directed by two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, the 2012 Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar has been re-envisioned for the 21st century audience with all the best bells and whistles 21st century theatre design and technology can employ.
Choreography is by Lisa Shriver, with Musical Direction by Rick Fox, Set Design by Robert Brill, Costume Design by Paul Tazewell, Lighting Design by Howell Binkley, Sound Design by Steve Canyon Kennedy, and Video Design by Sean Nieuwenhuis.
The cast features Paul Nolan as "Jesus Christ," Josh Young as "Judas Iscariot," Chilina Kennedy as "Mary Magdalene," Tom Hewitt as "Pontius Pilate," Bruce Dow as "King Herod," Marcus Nance as "Caiaphas," and Aaron Walpole as "Annas."
The supporting cast includes 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," Jeremy Kushnier as "James the Lesser"/"Priest," Mike Nadajewski as "Peter," Melissa O’Neil as "Martha"/"Maid by the Fire," Laurin Padolina as "Rachel," Katrina Reynolds as "Esther," Jaz Sealey as "Thomas," Jason Sermonia as "John," Julius Sermonia as "James," Lee Siegel as "Simon Zealotes," Jonathan Winsby as "Phillip," Sandy Winsby as "Andrew," with Nick Cartell, Krista Leis, Matthew Rossoff and Matt Stokes as swings.
- March 1 through March 24: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday performances at 7:00 p.m.; Afternoon Matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6.
- March 22 Opening Night Curtain is at 6:45 p.m.
- Beginning March 27: Tuesday through Thursday evening performances at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m., Afternoon Matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar are available through the website and in person at the Neil Simon Theatre box office, located at 250 West 52nd Street.