BWW Interview: Alvin Crawford of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Hippodrome Theater
Jesus Christ Superstar opens tonight at the Hippodrome Theater as part of a nation-wide tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic rock opera and its legendary album, which was released in 1970.
The album (affectionately called the 'brown album' by fans) was released as a 'concert album' before being staged on Broadway. This strategy allowed lyricist, Tim Rice and composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, to gauge the popularity of the music before producing it on Broadway. The rest is history, the album's songs dominated the pop charts when it was released and the show was a smash hit.
Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera depicts the last week of Jesus's life as seen through the eyes of his disciple, Judas, who betrays him.
The play's Director, Timothy Sheader has created a production that pays homage to the 1970's album, said actor, Alvin Crawford who plays the High Priest, Caiaphas. "Understanding the significance of the album and its anniversary, the music is at the forefront of this show," said Crawford. "The show also features amazing choreography by Drew McOnie," noted Crawford. "The ensemble moves as a collective force which depicts the mob mentality. It's all quite brilliant."
Crawford's role as Caiaphas, the High Priest of Israel, has received much praise. In Austin, where the tour kicked off in October 2019, reviews noted his powerful voice that clearly delivers every lyric and dramatically captures the low bass tones.
Crawford, a veteran of Broadway, earned his first role at the age of 17 in The Buddy Holly Story. Later, he attended the Juilliard School and has appeared in many Broadway productions including Miss Saigon and The Lion King. He notes that like the Lion King, Jesus Christ Superstar has a devoted fan base with a strong nostalgic connection to the show. "After a performance, the audience is eager to share with the cast their memories of when they first heard the album or saw the play."
"The amazing cast, their disctinct voices, dynamic choreography, stunning costumes and scenery engage the audience, enhance their love of the production while attracting new fans," said Crawford.
The legendary rock opera runs for eight shows from December 17 to 22 in Baltimore's magnificent Hippodrome Theater.