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Full Cast Announced for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR on Broadway; Tom Hewitt is Pontius Pilate

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The full Broadway cast has been announced for The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's hit production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, directed by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Artistic Director Des McAnuff which will open March 22, 2012 (previews begin March 1) at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd Street).

The cast will feature 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.

Also in the cast: 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, and Krista Leis and Matthew Rossoff as swings.

In addition to Mr. McAnuff as Director, the creative team includes Choreographer Lisa Shriver, Musical Director Rick Fox, Set Designer Robert Brill, Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, Sound Designer Steve Canyon Kennedy and Video Designer Sean Nieuwenhuis.

This ground-breaking rock opera, which reinvented musical theatre for the modern age, tells the story of the last week of Christ's life. The score includes such chart-topping songs as "I Don't Know How To Love Him," "Everything's Alright" and "Superstar."

Ticket prices (including the $2 facility fee) range from $62-$99 for previews (March 1-March 21), $62-$142 for performances March 22 onward.

Biographies:

Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music) is the composer of The Likes of Us, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Song & Dance, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, The Woman in White and, most recently, Love Never Dies, which continues the story of the Phantom and Christine. He also composed the film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File, and the classical work Requiem. Besides many of his shows, his credits as producer include Daisy Pulls It Off, Lend Me a Tenor, Shirley Valentine, La Bête, the groundbreaking Bollywood musical Bombay Dreams, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz and the film of The Phantom of the Opera. He pioneered television casting for musical theatre with the Emmy Award-winning BBC series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?. He repeated his success with Any Dream Will Do, which cast the title role of Joseph…Dreamcoat, and I'd Do Anything, which cast the roles of Nancy and Oliver for Oliver! In the 2010 BBC series Over the Rainbow, Danielle Hope was cast in the role of Dorothy for his new production of The Wizard of Oz. His awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys (including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem), seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two International Emmys, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre and The Kennedy Center Honor. He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.

Tim Rice (Lyrics) was born in 1944, and began songwriting in 1965. That same year he met fellow budding songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musical ambitions were in theatre rather than rock or pop. They teamed and wrote four musicals together from 1965 to 1978. The first, The Likes of Us, was performed for the first time in 2005. The other three, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita were more immediate successes. After the pair went their separate ways, Rice wrote Blondel (1983) with Stephen Oliver, which ran for a year in London and was followed in 1986 by Chess, in collaboration with ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. In the 1990s Rice worked primarily for the Disney company, writing lyrics for the movies Aladdin and The Lion King and for the stage shows Beauty and the Beast, King David, The Lion King and Elton John's Aida. Between Disney commitments he wrote the words for Cliff Richard's theatrical blockbuster Heathcliff, which toured the U.K. in 1995-96. For Dreamworks, he joined forces again with Elton John to write the score for the 2000 animated film The Road to El Dorado. His awards include a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, three Oscars, four Tonys, five Grammys and thirteen Ivor Novello Awards. The first volume of his autobiography, Oh What a Circus, was published in 1999.

Des McAnuff

(Director/Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival/Director Emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse)

Two-time Tony, Olivier and Dora award-winning director Des McAnuff attended Ryerson University and was part of Toronto's burgeoning theatre scene in the 1970s. During his tenure as Artistic Director, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival has mounted 60 productions and Mr. McAnuff has directed 7 productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Twelfth Night (2010) The Tempest starring Christopher Plummer, As You Like It, Macbeth starring Colm Feore, A Funny Thing…, Romeo and Juliet, and Caesar and Cleopatra starring Christopher Plummer. In 2012, his fifth season as Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, he will direct Henry V and Christopher Plummer's one-man show A Word or Two. He is director emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse, where over 18 years as Artistic Director he directed more than 30 productions of Shakespeare and other classics, new plays and musicals. His adventurous leadership won La Jolla a Tony for Outstanding Regional Theatre and sent fifteen productions to Broadway, beginning with Big River in 1985, which received Tony awards for Best Director and Musical, and A Walk in the Woods in 1988. Broadway: Guys & Dolls, Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention, Jersey Boys (Tony and Olivier awards: best musical), Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays (Tony Award), How to Succeed…, The Who's Tommy (director/co-author with Pete Townshend, Tony and Olivier awards: best director; Olivier: best musical), A Walk in the Woods, Big River (Tony awards: best director and musical). Other New York: Crazy Locomotive, Mary Stuart, his play Leave It to Beaver is Dead. Australia: new musical Dr. Zhivago (February 2011) Opera: Faust at NY's Metropolitan Opera (2011) and English National Opera (2010) and Wozzeck at San Diego Opera. Film: Cousin Bette and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (director), The Iron Giant (producer) and Quills (executive producer). Stratford's Caesar and Cleopatra and The Tempest were also filmed for wide Canadian theatrical release to sold-out audiences across the country. In June 2011 he was honored with a doctorate from Ryerson University and in 2005 he received the prestigious Julia Hansen Award for lifetime achievement in directing.

Paul Nolan (Jesus Christ)

Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Orlando in As You Like It, The Winter's Tale, Tony in West Side Story, Valvert in Cyrano, Bobby in Cabaret, Slim in Oklahoma!, King Lear. Elsewhere: Beast in Beauty and the Beast (Persephone); Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage West Calgary, Sunshine Festival); Curly in Oklahoma! (Aquarius); Henry in Jasper Station (Lighthouse Festival); Danny in Grease (Stage West Mississauga); Bill in Kiss Me, Kate (Sunshine Festival); Huck in Big River (Drayton); Young Hercules in Hercules (Disney); Lucentio in Romancin' the One I Love (Winter Garden); Rafe in One Night Stand (London, England); Mamma Mia! (Mirvish). Recent travels included a trip home to Saskatchewan, where he created a concert of musical theatre songs with Chilina Kennedy in support of Regina's Golden Apple Theatre Company. Film/TV: The Gospel of John, Shapeshifter, Strike!, Cruel Intentions 2, On My Mind. Training: Birmingham Conservatory (2009), Randolph Academy. Awards: John Hirsch Guthrie Award (2010).

Josh Young (Judas Iscariot)

Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath, Che in Evita, Paul in Kiss Me, Kate. Elsewhere: Les Misérables (Marius, U.S. tour); West Side Story (Tony, 50th-anniversary international tour); A Little Night Music (Henrik, Baltimore Center Stage). Training: Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts; BFA, Syracuse University. Awards: 2010 Broadway World Toronto Award (best actor in a musical) for Che in Evita. Website: Visit www.josh-young.com, iTunes or The Playhouse gift shop to pick up Josh's self-titled debut album or the brand-new Still Dreaming of Paradise, a mix of re-imagined Broadway songs and pop classics.

Chilina Kennedy (Mary Magdalene)

Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Lois Lane in Kiss Me, Kate, Eva Perón in Evita, Maria in West Side Story, Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She is a proud member of the 2009/10 Birmingham Conservatory. Elsewhere: Chilina recently reprised Philia in Forum at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. Other credits include Guest Artist for an evening with Jason Robert Brown at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio; The President (Lydia), Wonderful Town (Eileen), Summer and Smoke (Nellie), Mack and Mabel, Gypsy, Major Barbara, Follies – In Concert (Shaw Festival); Reprise Concerts (St. Lawrence Centre); Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (TIFT); The Lord of the Rings (Mirvish); Mamma Mia! (Sophie, U.S. first national tour); Anne of Green Gables, Emily (Charlottetown Festival); On Albert Street, Seussical – The Musical (Aquarius); A Chorus Line, The Last Resort (Stage West). Recordings: Chilina is featured on CBC's Celebrate the Seasons and has recorded with Burt Bacharach.

Tom Hewitt (Pontius Pilate). Broadway: Billy Flynn in Chicago, title role in Dracula, The Musical, Frank 'N' Furter in The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), The Boys From Syracuse, Scar in The Lion King, The Sisters Rosensweig. He also appeared in the National Tours of Urinetown, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Touring Broadway Award) and Peter Pan. Off-Broadway credits include Treasure Island, Jeffery, Beau Jest (Outer Critics Circle nominations), Richard III and Othello. Recent regional credits: Kiss Me Kate (Reprise!, Muny), A Flea In Her Ear, (Williamstown), Private Lives and Travesties (Long Wharf, CT Critics Award), Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Old Globe), Uncle Vanya (Arena Stage), Racing Demon and Blithe Spirit (Guthrie), Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare Theater) and Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse). Mr. Hewitt has performed throughout Japan, Europe and the US with the Suzuki Company of Toga. His TV/film credits include "Law & Order," "Third Watch," "Frasier," "All My Children," narration for the Discovery, History and National Geographic channels and Julie Taymor's Fool's Fire. Training: PTTP currently at U. of Delaware.

Bruce Dow (King Herod)

La Jolla Playhouse: Robert In Jane Eyre. Broadway/NYC: Robert In Jane Eyre; Jacey Squires in The Music Man; Bishop Dobson in Anything Goes (benefit, Lincoln Center Theater); Prismatic in Grenadine, Neil Wechsler's 2008 Yale Drama Award Winner (reading, tctnyc.org). Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Trinculo in The Tempest, starring Christopher Plummer; Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Emcee in Cabaret; Dromio of Syracuse in Comedy of Errors; Baker in Into the Woods; Luther Billis in South Pacific; Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls; Speed in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Film/TV: Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury/Granada); Rick Mercer Report (CBC); The Tempest (Bravo!, Melbar). Recordings: Keepin' Out of Mischief, Lucky to Be Me (available in lobby, at iTunes and Amazon). Cabaret: Cabaret West, Chicago Cabaret Professionals, MACnyc. Training: BFA Acting, MFA Directing, UBC. Website:

www.brucedow.com.

Marcus Nance (Caiaphas)

Broadway/Off-Broadway: Baz Luhrmann's La Bohème; Kismet, Of Thee I Sing (Encores!); Cinderella (City Opera). Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Jesus Christ Superstar, Moby Dick, The Music Man, My One and Only. Regional: Four Saints in Three Acts (Chicago Opera Theater); Beauty and the Beast (Grand Theatre, Western Canada Theatre); Dark Star Requiem (Luminato); Floyd Collins, Pal Joey (Shaw Festival); Porgy and Bess (Toronto Symphony); Annie Get Your Gun (Massey Hall); Elsewhereless (Tapestry Opera); Show Boat (Livent); Tosca (Hawaii Opera); Rigoletto (Tacoma Opera); The Barber of Seville (Monterey Opera). Film: The Producers. Recordings: debut solo CD The Voice Next Door (available in the theatre store); La Bohème, Ragtime, Show Boat (cast recordings). Awards: Metropolitan Opera National Council. Training: BA, voice, Fresno State University. Website: marcusnance.com.

Aaron Walpole (Annas)

Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Angie the Ox/Nicely and Big Jule understudy (Guys and Dolls), Quartet Tenor #2 (Anything Goes). Elsewhere: Lonny in Rock of Ages (Mirvish); Big Bopper in The Buddy Holly Story; Herman in Sweet Charity; Bouley in Damn Yankees;, ensemble in One Hit Wonders; Canadian Explosion, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Stage West); Eddie/Dr. Scott in The Rocky Horror Show (Theatre New Brunswick); Hank in Nursery School Musical (Berkeley Street Theatre); Parker in Rock and Roll (Grand Theatre); Aaron in The Compleat Works…, Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk (Gayety Theatre); Roger in Grease (Citadel Theatre); Moose in Crazy for You (Huron Country Playhouse). Film/TV: Breakout Kings (A&E series); feature films: Felling Shadows, Silent but Deadly, Deacons for Defense; Canadian Idol, season 3 (third-place finalist). Recordings: debut self-titled album available in stores across Canada through Sony/BMG Canada. Training: Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance Program. Website: www.aaronwalpole.com.

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