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Tom Hewitt to Remain in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR for Broadway Run?

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Earlier this week, La Jolla Playhouse announced a casting update for its current presentation of the acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Playhouse Director Emeritus and Stratford Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Des McAnuff. Beginning Wednesday, December 7, Broadway veteran Tom Hewitt (Playhouse's Zhivago and Dracula: The Musical) took over the role of Pontius Pilate for a limited engagement at The Playhouse. Whether Hewitt will remain in the production through the Broadway transfer remains unknown, but Stratford Shakespeare Festival (where the show premiered) has released the following statement:

'We imagine, but cannot confirm, that Tom Hewitt is being considered for the role of Pontius Pilate on Broadway. Tom is a favourite performer at The Playhouse and has worked with Des many times over the years. Jeremy has been more than gracious in stepping aside for six or seven performances on what is virtually home turf for Tom. There are other plans for Jeremy in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which were under way before he undertook the role of Pilate at The Playhouse. Jeremy received excellent reviews for his performance and we're all looking forward to having him complete the run at La Jolla.'

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.

The production has received glowing reviews across the board. "Tightly focused and beautifully measured, this Jesus Christ Superstar gives everyone a reason to artistically rejoice this holiday season," raved the Los Angeles Times. The San Diego Union-Tribune dubbed the show "radiant and retro," while the North County Times called it "dazzling."

Tom Hewitt starred in La Jolla Playhouse's productions of Zhivago and Dracula: The Musical. His Broadway credits include: Billy Flynn in Chicago, Dracula 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, School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosenzweig. 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 nomination), Richard III and Othello. Recent regional credits: Kiss Me, Kate (Reprise!, Muny); Flea in Her Ear (Williamstown); Private Lives and Travesties (Long Wharf, CT Critics Circle Award); Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Old Globe); Uncle Vanya (Arena Stage); Racing Demon and Blithe Spirit (Guthrie); Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare Theater). Mr. Hewitt has performed throughout Japan, Europe and the U.S. 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 Fools' Fire. Training: PTTP currently at U. of Delaware.

Tickets are available online at LaJollaPlayhouse.orgor at (858) 550-1010.

The nationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently-running hits Memphis and Jersey Boys – both Best Musical Tony Award winners, as well as Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention and 33 Variations. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.

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