Lead Cast and More Cities Set For Australian Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Performances begin 6 November.

By: Jul. 08, 2024
Lead Cast and More Cities Set For Australian Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
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The lead cast for the Australian tour of the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s celebrated rock musical JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has been revealed. The producers have also announced a Perth season of the production from February at Crown Theatre and a Melbourne season at the Princess Theatre from March.

New performances are also being released from tomorrow for the Sydney season at the Capitol Theatre which commences on 6 November, for performances up until 29 December.

In the title role of Jesus will be international recording artist Michael Paynter. Michael is a member of classic Australian band Icehouse, as well as the guitarist and vocalist in Australian icon Jimmy Barnes’ band, and performs live with Bachelor Girl, Killing Heidi, Delta Goodrem, Reece Mastin and many others. He has toured extensively in Australia and internationally, sharing arena and stadium stages with artists such as John Farnham, 5 Seconds of Summer, Miley Cyrus, Seal, Hall and Oates, and The Script.

Javon King, who astounded audiences last year for his role as Seaweed J. Stubbs in the Australian tour of Hairspray, will play Judas. His theatre credits include The Inheritance at fortyfivedownstairs and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Chapel off Chapel, for which he won a Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Javon toured the USA and internationally as Angel in the 20th and 25th Anniversary tours of Rent.

Powerhouse soul and blues vocalist Mahalia Barnes will take on her first stage role as Mary. Mahalia and her band The Soul Mates play to capacity crowds around the country, touring nationally and internationally alongside artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Roots, Mavis Staples, Joe Bonamassa, Bryan Adams and Tom Jones. She has recorded, toured and collaborated with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Liam Gallagher, Beth Hart, George Benson, Robert Jon + The Wreck, Birds of Tokyo, Diesel, Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barnes and David Campbell to name a few.

Producer John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers, said: “I am delighted that Michael, Javon and Mahalia are joining the cast of this award-winning production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. SUPERSTAR is a loved and cherished rock opera, and they are all extraordinary singers and musicians who will bring their unique experience and talent to these roles. I’m so looking forward to hearing them singing in rehearsals those classic songs like Heaven On Their Minds, What’s the Buzz and I Don’t Know How To Love Him.”

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Gethsemane and Superstar.

A global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for decades, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR’s iconic 1970s rock score was originally released as a concept album and opened on Broadway in 1971. The original Australian production opened at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney in May 1972, followed by seasons at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne and other cities, playing for more than 700 performances. The original London production ran for over eight years. By the time it closed after 3,358 performances, it had become the longest-running musical in West End history at that time.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has been reproduced regularly around the world in the years since its first appearance, including a Broadway revival in 2012, an ITV competition TV show called Superstar that led to casting Ben Forster as Jesus for an arena tour of the show, and a production at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre celebrating 45 years since the musical’s Broadway debut. An Australian arena tour featuring John Farnham, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Angry Anderson, Russell Morris and John Waters toured Australia in 1992 to sell-out performances.

This production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the 2016 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, selling out two consecutive engagements in 2016 and 2017. The production played a West End engagement at the Barbican in 2019 before returning to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in concert version during the summer of 2020. 

Produced by John Frost and David Ian for Crossroads Live, in association with Work Light Productions, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR features lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This production was reimagined by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre where it originated and is helmed by director Timothy Sheader and choreographer Drew McOnie. Completing the creative team is design by Tom Scutt, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Nick Lidster and music supervision by Tom Deering.



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