Theatre Memphis Opens JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Tonight

Theatre Memphis Opens JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Tonight

Jesus Christ Superstar, a rock opera by the legendary team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, will be resurrected on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis tonight, March 7 - 30, 2014. Following the form of a traditional passion play, this musical hit is loosely based on the Gospel's account of the last week of the life of Jesus. Melding contemporary attitudes, iconic allusions with modern life, heart-pounding beats and rhythmic ballads have made this show, recently revived on Broadway, a modern day classic.

At the heart of this production is director Kell Christie, former Artistic Director at Theatre Memphis and currently teaching drama in the Shelby County Schools system at Houston High School. " I began with a strong respect for the diversity of belief systems in this area of the world'" she says. "With that understanding, I also knew that most people have strong feelings about who Jesus Christ of Nazareth is to them and that most people have an opinion of what he means to others as it relates to their beliefs. So I took a poll." Out of the answers she received she pulled together a concept that Jesus was "someone who made a difference" and she wanted to convey and respect that. "Even if you are not invested in a personal relationship with Jesus/God ... this story is moving," Christie continues. "And the cast, wow, they are so invested. Stretching what they do as actors to make this all more than a mustache-twirling, musical melodrama. It is all so believable."

The large cast is anchored by Stephen Garrett as Jesus, Lee Gilliland as Judas, Emily Draffen as Mary Magdalene, Chase Ring as Caiaphas, Jordan Wells as Pontius Pilate, Ashley Bugg Brown as King Herod, Kyle Waterman as Annas, Guillermo Jemmott as Peter and Cody Hanford as Simon Zealotes.

Theatre Memphis Executive Director Debbie Litch literally praises the work of Christie and her crew. " It is so important that we offer creative outlets to those in our theatre community and continue providing an excellent artistic product for the community as a whole. Kell's approach to this production pays homage to this subject and remains respectful to the artistry with which we can express ourselves."

Jesus Christ Superstar is set to run March 7-30, 2014 at Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117. Showtimes are Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays. Tickets are $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children 11 and under. This production is sponsored by Gene and Sandra Cochran and Juve Salon Spa. For more information, call the box office at 901.682.8323 or visit www.theatrememphis.org.

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