Since the 1970 now-classic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was launched, there have been dozens of stage productions, concert performances, and film and television adaptations, including a Heavy Metal version in Chile.
URP is presenting yet another unique look at this iconic musical, Oct. 31 through Nov. 5 at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre in which Judas, Pilate and Herod are all played by women.
“We have cast a small ensemble of 14,” explained URP producer/director Richard Berg. “Typically the cast is much larger than that. We have also approached the casting in a non-traditional manner. We held open auditions and cast the strongest actor/singers we could for each role, regardless of gender.”
The result is that while Jesus and Mary are traditionally cast, many of the traditionally male roles are being played by female actors. The show features Langley’s Chantelle Ward, along with Nick Heffelfinger, Ali Watson, Synthia Yusuf, Vanessa Merenda, Chris Olson, Isabella Halladay, Jennifer Suratos, Cristina Bertini, Caleb Lagayan, Merewyn Comeau, Mackenzie Claus, Kelsey Torok, Michael Powell and Kaden Chad.
“We are not trying to make any big political statement or anything like that,” said Berg. “We simply want to tell the story in an exciting and entertaining way with the best performers we could get.”
While URP has presented Jesus Christ Superstar in the past, in 1995 and 2004, this production will be all new, featuring innovative design concepts and a five-piece band to accompany the 14 singers in the cast.
“We are really highlighting the ‘rock’ part of ‘rock opera,’” said Berg. “The audience can expect a liberal sprinkling of rock concert spectacle on top of the drama of the story.”
Tickets are $44 for adults, $36 for students and seniors and $28 for children under 12. Children must be age three or over to attend. All preview tickets on Oct. 31 are $28.
Purchase ticket online at tickets.centennialtheatre.com.