JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR to Play MCCC's Kelsey Theatre, 11/7-16

When the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" hit the Broadway stage in 1971, it was an electrifying leap into a new kind of musical. The power of the music and the story that it tells still resonate some four decades later. Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's Tony-Award winning show will be presented by Playful Theatre Productions at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC) Kelsey Theatre in November. Performance dates are Fridays, Nov. 7 and 14 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Nov. 8 and 15 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Nov. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is conveniently located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Nov. 7.

Loosely based on St. John's Gospel account of the last week in the life of Jesus, the complex story is intensified by its musical retelling through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Mixing issues of religion, politics both ancient and decidedly contemporary, mob psychology and personal responsibility, this riveting show is a must-see production for its depiction of the life and times of Jesus, and its groundbreaking place in the annals of musical theater.

The cast stars Michael Scibilia of Willow Grove, Pa., as Jesus; Richard Damaso of Milltown as Judas Iscariot; Vianna Fagel of Lawrenceville as Mary Magdalene; Ben Simons of North Brunswick as Pontius Pilate, and Maria Aromando of Bridgewater as Herod. Also featured are Evan Bilinski of Franklin Park as Caiaphas the High Priest; Tia Brown of Ewing as Simon Zealotes; and Matt Dawson of Hillsborough as Annas the High Priest.

The Apostles include Reginald Brockington of Hamilton, Melody Dougherty of Philadelphia, Pa., Jennifer Fischer of Hamilton, Michael Gearty of Langhorne, Pa., Bridget Hughes of Jackson, Paul Lasky of Hamilton, Jenna O'Neill of Hamilton, Christopher Singh of West Windsor and Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa. Lead dancers are Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown and Emily O'Sullivan of Hamilton.

The show is directed by Frank Ferrara, with musical direction by Shannon Ferrara, associate musical direction by Mike Gilchand, and choreography by Renee Chambers-Liciaga. Costumes are by Michelle Rittmann and set design is by Bryan Schendlinger. Ruth Kresge and Nancy Scharf are the stage managers and Hilary Leboff and Suzanne Smith are the producers.

Tickets for "Jesus Christ Superstar" are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey webpage or call the box office for a brochure.

Pictured: From left, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR cast members Evan Bilinski, Tia Brown, Christopher Singh, Richard Damaso as Judas, Vianna Fagel as Mary Magdalene, Paul Lasky, Kaitlyn Anthony, Michael Gearty, Michael Scibilia (in white shirt) as Jesus, Michael Zweig, Emily O'Sullivan, Matthew Dawson, Reginald Brockington, Melody Dougherty, Jenna O'Neill, Ben Simons, Maria Aromando and Bridget Hughes.



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