Signature Theatre Announces Full Cast for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Signature Theatre Announces Full Cast for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Signature Theatre is proud to announce full casting for Jesus Christ Superstar directed by Signature Theatre Director of New Works Joe Calarco (Gypsy, The Flick). With a rock-opera score by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Evita) and lyrics by Tim Rice (Evita, Chess), tells the story of Jesus' life in his final week and includes well-known songs like "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "What's the Buzz" and "Everything's Alright." This epic story will come to life in an immersive and modern new staging in Signature Theatre's MAX Theatre and runs May 9 - July 2, 2017.

"We've assembled an exciting array of artists to work on this new production of Jesus Christ Superstar," said Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. "It will be the perfect finale to an exciting 27th Season at Signature hearing these iconic rock songs in our intimate MAX Theatre with Joe Calarco at the helm."

"Jesus Christ Superstar is one of the most iconic musicals in history and its score changed the sound of Broadway," said Joe Calarco. "People are so familiar with the show now that I think we forget how arresting and revolutionary it was, not just in the style of its music, but how lyrically it asks us to look at Jesus as a man, a man with faults. This production will continue Signature's history of allowing audiences to see classics in a fresh way.

The production will star Nicholas Edwards (Off-Broadway's Spamilton, Sister Act National Tour) as Jesus of Nazareth, Ari McKay Wilford (Broadway's Once) as Judas Iscariot, and Natascia Diaz (Signature's West Side Story, The Threepenny Opera) as Mary Magdalene. Edwards, Wilford and Diaz are joined in the cast by Sherri L. Edelen (Signature's Midwestern Gothic, Gypsy) as King Herod, Sam Ludwig (Signature's Midwestern Gothic, Titanic) as Annas, Michael J. Mainwaring (Arena's Smokey Joe's Café) as Peter, Awa Sal Secka (Round House's Caroline, or Change) as Simon Zealotes, Thomas Adrian Simpson (Signature's Company) as Caiaphas, and Bobby Smith as Pontius Pilate (Signature's Midwestern Gothic, Titanic).

The ensemble is rounded out by Vincent Kempski (Signature's Miss Saigon), David Landstrom (Olney's Avenue Q), Calvin McCullough (Ford's A Christmas Carol), Solomon Parker III (Red Branch Theatre's Dogfight), Jobari Parker-Namdar (Signature's Anyone Can Whistle), Chris Sizemore (Signature's Titanic), Harrison Smith (Keegan Theatre's Parade), Korinn Walfall (Round House Theatre's Caroline, or Change), and Kara Tameika Watkins (Signature's Jelly's Last Jam).

The creative team includes Choreography by Karma Camp (Signature's Elmer Gantry), Musical Direction by William Yanesh (Signature's The Last Five Years), Scenic Design by Luciana Stecconi (Signature's Tender Napalm), Lighting Design by Jason Lyons (Signature's La Cage Aux Folles), Costume Design by Frank Labovitz (Signature's Titanic), Sound Design by Ryan Hickey (Signature's Titanic), Video Design by Zach Borovay (Broadway's Rock of Ages), Fight Choreography by Casey Kaleba (Signature's Midwestern Gothic) Production Stage Manager Kerry Epstein, Assistant Stage Manager Karen Currie, Production Assistant Joey Blakely, New York Casting by Laura Stancyzk, CSA.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Lyrics by Tim Rice and Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by Joe Calarco

Eight weeks only!

Performances run May 9, 2017 through July 2, 2017

Single tickets now on sale.

Jesus Christ Superstar is sponsored by Peter and Ann Tanous, Ratner Companies and FeLD Entertainment.

CAST BIOS

Nicholas Edwards (Jesus of Nazareth) OFF-BROADWAY: Spamilton (Daveed Diggs). NATIONAL TOUR: Sister Act (Pablo). REGIONAL: Triangle Productions: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Valentin), Tibbits Summer Theatre: A Chorus Line (Paul), Ocean City Theatre Co.: Swing!, Joseph...Dreamcoat. CRUISE LINE: Vocalist on Celebrity Cruises. EDUCATION: BFA Musical Theatre, Montclair State University.

Ari McKay Wilford (Judas Iscariot) BROADWAY: Once. NEW YORK: Cosplay, Gay Bride of Frankenstein, Edenville. REGIONAL: St. Louis Rep, Gateway Playhouse, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Seacoast Rep. TV/FILM: Gotham, Vinyl, Solitary.

Natascia Diaz (Mary Magdalene) SIGNATURE: The Threepenny Opera (Jenny, 2015 Hayes Award nomination), Spider Woman (Aurora). BROADWAY: Man of La Mancha (Antonia, u/s Aldonza), Seussical (Bird Girl). OFF-BROADWAY: By The Way, Meet Vera Stark; Delacorte Theatre: The Capeman (Esmeralda), Jacques Brel; tick, tick...BOOM! (Susan, LA Ovation nomination); Saturday Night. NATIONAL TOUR: West Side Story (Anita, Chicago Joseph Jefferson Award, St. Louis Kevin Kline Award). DC AREA: Shakespeare Theatre: Measure for Measure (Mariana); MetroStage: Jacques Brel (Woman 1, 2014 Helen Hayes Award), Savage In Limbo (Savage), Rooms (Monica P. Miller, 2009 Helen Hayes Award); Kennedy Center: Carnival (Rosalie), A Little Night Music (Petra); . REGIONAL: St. Louis Muny: Chicago (Velma, St. Louis Critics Award nomination); Lyric Theatre: A Chorus Line (Cassie). TV: Law and Order, Oz. FILM: Every Little Step (Self). www.natasciadiaz.com

Sherri L. Edelen (King Herod) SIGNATURE: Midwestern Gothic, Freaky Friday, Gypsy, Cake Off, Sweeney Todd, Les Misérable, Road Show. NATIONAL TOURS: Me and My Girl, Nunsense, Big. NEW YORK: Disney Theatricals: Freaky Friday; Fringe Festival: Citizen Ruth. DC AREA: Kennedy Center: Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along; Arena Stage: Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Vanya...Spike; Shakespeare Theatre: Design for Living; Folger Theatre: Romeo and Juliet; Round House Theatre: The Diary of Anne Frank; Olney Theatre Center: How to Succeed...; Theatre J: Copenhagen. REGIONAL: Arden Theatre Company: Caroline, or Change; Philadelphia Theatre Company: The Light in the Piazza, Elegies; Fusion Theatre Company: Outside Mullingar; Stages St. Louis: The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun. DIRECTING: Riverside Theatre Center: Steel Magnolias. AWARDS: Multiple Helen Hayes Award nominee and 2-time recipient.

Vincent Kempski (Ensemble) SIGNATURE: Woodstock, Gypsy, Miss Saigon, Spin, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Crossing in concert. REGIONAL: Musical Theatre Factory: The Greenwood Tree; DC AREA: Ford's Theatre: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Roundhouse Theatre: The Nutcracker; Olney Theatre Center: Grease, Joseph...Dreamcoat; Keegan Theatre: Spring Awakening; Kennedy Center: Latino Inaugural 2013, The Greenwood Tree; Washington Savoyards: The Pirates of Penzance. EDUCATION: BM, Catholic University.

David Landstrom (Ensemble) NATIONAL TOURS: Big Nate. DC AREA: Olney Theatre Center: Avenue Q, How To Succeed In Business, Forever Plaid, Spring Awakening; Imagination Stage: Lyle the Crocodile; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2013 Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding TYA Production); Studio Theatre 2nd Stage: The Rocky Horror Show; Factory 449: The Ice Child; The Riverside Center: Forever Plaid; Steel River Playhouse: La Cage Aux Folles. EDUCATION: American University.

Sam Ludwig (Annas) SIGNATURE: Midwestern Gothic, Titanic (Helen Hayes nomination), The Hollow, [title of show], Sweeney Todd, Show Boat, Partial Eclipse, Les Misérables, Saturday Night in concert. DC AREA: Olney Theatre Center: How to Succeed... (Helen Hayes Award, Lead Actor in a Musical), Avenue Q, Big River, 1776; Ford's Theatre: 1776; 1st Stage: Proof; MetroStage: Jacques Brel is Alive..., Glimpses of the Moon; Rep Stage: Speech and Debate; Theatre J: Sons of the Prophet, The Playdoh Golem (reading); Kennedy Center TYA: Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred); Adventure Theatre MTC: Big Nate; Creative Cauldron: The King of Pizza, Monsters of the Villa Diodati (Helen Hayes Nomination); Toby's Dinner Theatre: Titanic, La Cage Aux Folles

Michael J. Mainwaring (Peter) SIGNATURE: Dreamgirls, U.G.L.Y. (workshop). DC AREA: Arena Stage: Smokey Joe's Café; Olney Theatre Center: Godspell, Sweeney Todd; Kennedy Center: In Performance, Lost in the Stars; Ford's Theatre: Shenandoah, Freedom Song, Ford's Presidential Gala: An American Celebration, Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration; Creative Cauldron: Thunder Knocking at the Door; Adventure Theatre: Three Little Birds (world premiere). REGIONAL: Harbor Lights Theatre Company: RENT. EDUCATION: Voice; Kristin Halliday.

Calvin McCullough (Ensemble) SIGNATURE: Freaky Friday, Skin & Bones (workshop). DC AREA: Ford's Theatre: A Christmas Carol; Olney Theatre: GODSPELL, Carmen; Imagination Stage: The Freshest Snow Whyte, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Wings, Peter and The Wolf; Adventure Theatre: Miss Nelson is Missing, BIG, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Snowy Day; Everyman Theatre: A Raisin in the Sun; Capital Fringe Festival: Love in Ruins.

Solomon Parker III (Ensemble) DC AREA: Toby's Dinner Theatre: Hairspray (Ensemble, u/s Seaweed); Kensington Arts Theatre: Cabaret (Herman, Featured Dancer); Red Branch Theatre Company: Dogfight (Boland). EDUCATIONAL: Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), In the Heights (Benny), Rent (Benny). EDUCATION: Montgomery College. UPCOMING: Toby's Dinner Theatre: Dreamgirls.

Jobari Parker-Namdar (Ensemble) SIGNATURE: Anyone Can Whistle (Martin, reading), Lost Songs of Broadway, Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret Series, Hairspray (u/s). OFF-BROADWAY: Three Little Birds (Ziggy). DC AREA: Olney Theatre: Sweeney Todd (Anthony); Arena Stage: Five Guys Named Moe (No Moe); Ford's Theatre: Freedom's Song (Samson); Imagination Stage: A Year with Frog and Toad (Frog, Helen Hays nomination). REGIONAL: Ensemble Theatre: From My Hometown (Detroit)

Awa Sal Secka (Simon Zealotes) SIGNATURE: U.G.L.Y. (reading). NATIONAL TOUR: BIG NATE the Musical. DC AREA: Round House Theatre: Caroline, or Change; Theatre Alliance: Black Nativity; Creative Cauldron: Chasing the Wind; Caroline, or Change; Mosaic Theatre: Eretz Chadasha: The Promised Land; ATMTC: James and the Giant Peach; Studio Theatre: SILENCE! The Musical; Olney Theatre Center: Avenue Q. EDUCATION: A.A. in Theatre Performance from Montgomery College. UPCOMING: Kennedy Center: Me...Jane; Ford's Theatre: The Wiz.

Thomas Adrian Simpson (Caiaphas) SIGNATURE: Company, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Boy Detective Fails, The Hollow, Les Misérables, The Witches of Eastwick, My Fair Lady, Pacific Overtures, Urinetown, Twentieth Century, 110 in the Shade (2004 Helen Hayes nomination), Floyd Collins, Grand Hotel, Over and Over, Vera. DC AREA: Arena Stage: A Raisin in the Sun, Mary T. & Lizzy K., My Fair Lady; Ford's Theatre: 1776, LiberTy Smith, Meet John Doe, A Christmas Carol; Shakespeare Theatre: Candide; Kennedy Center: Orphie and the Book of Heroes; Olney Theatre Center: Sweeney Todd, 1776, Oliver; Studio Theatre: Adding Machine- A Musical. REGIONAL: Goodman Theatre: Candide; Wayside Theatre: Shenandoah, Man of La Mancha; Delaware Theatre Co.: A Murder A Mystery and A Marriage. TV: House of Cards, America's Most Wanted. EDUCATION: UNC School of the Arts.

Chris Sizemore (Ensemble) SIGNATURE: Midwestern Gothic, Titanic, Crossing, Miss Saigon, Spin, Crossing in concert, Spin, Chess, Sweeney Todd, Show Boat (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Ensemble), Les Misérables (Helen Hayes nomination for Supporting Actor, Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble). NATIONAL TOUR: Kennedy Center: Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka. DC AREA: Arena Stage: Fiddler; Ford's Theatre: Freedom's Song, Violet, 1776, Parade, The Civil War (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Ensemble); Shakespeare Theatre: Two Gents...Rock Opera, Candide (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Ensemble); Olney Theatre Center: 1776, Fiddler, Cinderella; Toby's: Miss Saigon, Beauty & The Beast, Grease, Seussical. REGIONAL: Serenbe Playhouse: Miss Saigon.

Bobby Smith (Pontius Pilate) SIGNATURE: 16 shows, most recently Titanic, Freaky, La Cage aux Folles, and Spin (Helen Hayes Award). BROADWAY: Crazy for You. OFF-BROADWAY: Forever Plaid, The World Goes 'Round, Of Thee I Sing. NATIONAL TOURS: Brigadoon, The World Goes 'Round. DC AREA: Studio Theatre: A Class Act; The Long Christmas Ride Home; Caroline, or Change; Grey Gardens; Reefer Madness; Jerry Springer: The Opera; Ford's Theatre: Elmer Gantry, LiberTy Smith, 1776, A Christmas Carol, Violet; MetroStage: Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Musical of Musicals, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor in a Resident Musical), Kennedy Center: The Happy Prince, Peter and the Wolf with the NSO.

Harrison Smith (Ensemble) DC AREA: The Keegan Theatre: Parade, American Idiot, Dogfight Constellation Theatre Company: Urinetown 1st Stage: Floyd Collins EDUCATION: Catholic University UPCOMING: Round House Theatre: I'll Get You Back Again.

Korinn Walfall (Ensemble) DC AREA: Kennedy Center: In His Own Words... the Walter Dean Meyers Tribute; Strathmore: Audra McDonald's Pre-Lecture Concert; Round House Theatre: Caroline or Change; Capital Fringe Festival: That Kind of Girl. EDUCATION: University of Maryland-College Park, 2016, Theatre, Creative and Performing Arts Scholar.

Kara-Tameika Watkins (Ensemble) SIGNATURE: Jelly's Last Jam, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Sunset Boulevard, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. DC AREA: Arena Stage: Crowns, Smokey Joe's Café; Ford's Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors, Children of Eden; Studio Theatre: Caroline, or Change; Round House Theatre: Caroline or Change; Once on This Island; Olney Theatre Center: Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Musical, Peter Pan; Creative Cauldron: Caroline, or Change. REGIONAL: PLCO: Hairspray, Northshore Music Theatre and Nevada: Hairspray, Smokey Joe's Café. Proud Member AEA.

ABOUT SIGNATURE

Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 44 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.

In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson, James Lapine, George Hearn, Debra Monk, Boyd Gaines, Emily Skinner, Kathleen Marshall, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey, and the company's signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 97 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 386 nominations.


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