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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR La Jolla Cast Announced; Carver Out, Kushnier in

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Jesus Christ Superstar was the surprise hit of Stratford's 59th Season, boasting a completely sold out run (including a one week extension) and visits from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice. Critics and audience members alike praised the production, and almost immediately rumours of a possible Broadway transfer started flying.

The show has now wrapped its run in Stratford and is off to La Jolla San Diego for a limited six week engagement. Official casting was announced today with one very noticeable change, Brent Carver, who received high praise in the role of Pontius Pilate is being replaced by Jeremy Kushnier. Kushnier was an addition to the Stratford Superstar cast in an ensemble role toward the end of the run, but is now confirmed to be taking on the role of Pontius Pilate for the entire La Jolla presentation. Vocal strain is being noted as the reason for the replacement, though Carver could not be reached for comment. At the time of press, Broadway casting still hadn't been announced.

The cast will feature Bruce Dow as King Herod, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Jeremy Kushnier as Pontius Pilate, Mike Nadajewski as Peter, Paul Nolan as Jesus and Josh Young as Judas, with Marcus Nance as Caiaphas, Lee Siegel as Simon Zealotes 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, Melissa O'Neil as Martha/Maid by the Fire, Laurin Padolina as Rachel, Stephen Patterson as James the Lesser, Katrina Reynolds as Esther, Jaz Sealey as Thomas, Jason Sermonia as John, Julius Sermonia as James, Jonathan Winsby as Phillip, Sandy Winsby as Andrew and Jennifer Rider-Shaw and Matthew Rossoff as swings.

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 zeal with which Christ's followers are hailing him as the Son of God becomes a source of dismay to his disciple Judas Iscariot. Fearing that this tide of religious fervor will provoke brutal repression by the occupying Romans, Judas must make his fateful choice between faith and betrayal.

When and Where?

La Jolla Playhouse

November 18th - December 31st 2011

Performance Times:

Tues-Wed: 7:30 pm
Thurs-Fri: 8:00 pm
Sat: 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sun: 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Special 2PM weekday matinee performances on Nov 23, Dec 20, 22, 28 and 30th

Tickets can be purchased by phone at (858) 550-1010 or online at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.org/the-season/plays/jesus-christ-superstar

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Kelly Cameron Kelly Cameron's love affair with the theatre began when she was just five years old, on an outing to see the Original Canadian Cast of Les Miserables at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. She instantly fell in love, and is honoured to be representing the Toronto contingent of BroadwayWorld as Senior Editor overseeing the GTA region.

Her writing career started almost by accident, though it has always been in her blood as her Mom was an English teacher who firmly believed in the importance of being able to turn a phrase. She also loved sharing her love of theatre with her students (and her children), and was a staunch supporter of the arts in Toronto.

When not at the theatre, you can usually find Kelly with a Starbucks in one hand and her BlackBerry in the other, tweeting, reading or doing something quirky and clumsy for the sake of getting that next big story.

She's incredibly grateful to the amazing Toronto theatre community who have embraced her with open arms, giving her the greatest gift a little redheaded theatre geek could ever ask for - getting to be a part of this vibrant arts and culture scene. She may have never had the skills to be on the stage, but is thankful every day she gets to write about the inspiring people who do.

Headshot photo by Racheal McCaig www.rachealmccaigphotography.com


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