JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Opens At Bristol Riverside Theatre
Bristol Riverside Theatre opens the hit rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar starting March 21 and running through April 16. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is directed by Keith Baker, music directed by Douglass Lutz, with choreography by Stephen Casey and features Julian Alvarez, Derrick Cobey, Patrick H. Dunn, Robert Farruggia, Adam Kemmerer, Ciji Prosser, Darren Ritchie, Danny Rutigliano, and Steve Steiner. The ensemble features Jason Tyler Armstrong, Daniel Bontempo, Elena Camp, John DiFerdinando, Maggie Griffin-Smith, Megan Helen Jones, Lauren Krigel, Christopher McHugh, Caitlin Ort, William Pazdziora, Miriam Grace Payne, Christopher J. Perugini, Dominick Sannelli, and Keith L. Watford.
Jesus Christ Superstar, which changed the face of musical theater when it debuted on Broadway in 1971, is a remarkable retelling of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his betrayer, Judas Iscariot. This powerful musical, filled with emotional intensity and explosive theatricality, features chart-topping songs such as "Everything's Alright," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Gethsemane," and the high-octane title song.
"We are very excited to be bringing this groundbreaking rock opera that reinvented musical theater for the modern age!" said BRT's Artistic Director Keith Baker.
Keith Baker (Director), celebrates 25 years as the BRT Artistic Director. He has directed more than 40 productions for BRT including Working this season, Man of La Mancha (nominated for three Barrymore Awards) and Rumors last season, Lost in Yonkers, Ragtime (nominated for nine Barrymore Awards), Gypsy starring Tovah Feldshuh, Chicago (nominated for six Barrymore Awards), The Balkan Women (winner of a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play), The Dresser (nominated for a Barrymore Award for Best Director of a Play) and Dear World (nominated for three Barrymore Awards). As an actor he will appear in this season's production of Witness for the Prosecution, and starred last season in The Language Archive and Mountain: The Journey of Justice Douglas, as well as in Deathtrap, Inherit the Wind, Barrymore, A Raw Space, Old Wicked Songs, Defiance, Proof, Hamlet, A Little Night Music, Arsenic and Old Lace, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Baker has been nominated eleven times for the prestigious Carbonell Awards, for which he was twice the recipient for Best Actor. Prior to coming to BRT, Baker was Artistic Director for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and the Florida Repertory Theatre.
Douglass Lutz (Music Director) recently music directed BRT's production of Working. He has conducting over 200 musicals in the United States and internationally including West Side Story at the Kennedy Center and the premieres of West Side Story in Peru, Brazil, Spain and Belgium. He also conducted the American premiere of Love Story at The Walnut Street Theatre, and is the recipient of Barrymore nominations for Les Miserables, The King & I, Miss Saigon, Peter Pen, and Carousel and the Carbonell Award for Best Music Director for The Most Happy Fella at Florida's Jupiter Theatre.
Stephen Casey (Choreographer) is a three time Barrymore nominee, twice for his choreography of BRT's Ragtime and Little Shop of Horrors, and for his direction of The Musical of Musicals at Montgomery Theatre. Other BRT credits include last season's Man of la Mancha, Pride and Prejudice, What a Glorious Feeling, and Rent. He has also worked at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival where he recreated the Jerome Robbins dances in West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as choreographed Oklahoma!, South Pacific, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and 1776, and at Montgomery Theatre where he directed and choreographed The Great American Trailerpark Christmas Musical, Marry Me a Little, and last season's Forever Plaid.
Julian Alvarez (Simon) was last seen at BRT as Angel in Rent and as the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance. He was featured in West Side Story at Sadler's Wells in London and in the European/Asian tours, and in The King and I at Ogunquit Playhouse. Other theater credits include performances at North Carolina Theater, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, and Studio One NYC.
Derrick Cobey (Peter) returns to BRT where he appeared as Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime, a role that earned him a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical. He earned a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for his work in Parade at Arden Theatre Company. He has also been seen in Philadelphia as part of Philadelphia Theatre Company's Barrymore Award winning ensemble cast of The Scottsboro Boys, recreating the role he played on Broadway as well as in Arden Theatre Company's production of A Little Night Music. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Tin Pan Alley Rag at Roundabout Theatre Company and in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas at New York City Center. Featured in Arden Theatre Company's production of Pacific Overtures, his other regional credits include starring roles in Ragtime at Paper Mill Playhouse and Into the Woods at Great Lakes Theatre Festival.
Patrick H. Dunn (Jesus) starred at BRT as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance. He appeared in New York in Candide at New York City Opera, A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden and Where the Lilies Bloom. He has also been seen in The Music Man at The Bushnell Center and in Genesius: The Musicale and a New Writers Cabaret, both at Goodspeed Musicals.
Robert Farruggia (Annas) appeared at BRT last season as the Padre in Man of La Mancha and has also been seen in several Musicale performances. He has been seen on Broadway in Les Miserables and in Strike up the Band at Musicales Tonight. His regional theatre credits include performances at Bickford Theatre, Fulton Theatre, and Centerstage.
Adam Kemmerer (Judas) appeared as Sir Galahad in SPAMalot at Arkansas Rep Theatre as well as in productions at St. Luke's Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The McCarter Theatre, Playwrights Horizons. He has performed at Joe's Pub with Molly Pope and on television in Forensic Files.
Ciji Prosser (Mary Magdelene) returns to BRT where she starred as Sarah in the Barrymore-nominated production of Ragtime and in several of BRT's concerts. She has appeared in Die Zauberflote at Opera Roanoke, and in productions at PRiMA Theatre Company, Longhorne Theatre Company, and The Eagle Theatre.
Darren Ritchie (Pilate) comes to BRT having starred on Broadway in Wonderland, Dracula The Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Bells Are Ringing. He has also had leading roles in the national touring productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Altar Boyz, and Fame. Regional credits include performances at Ogonquit Playhouse, Ford's Theater and Goodspeed Opera House.
Danny Rutigiano (King Herod) earned a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role as Sancho in BRT's production of Man of La Mancha last season. He has been seen on Broadway in Billy Elliot and The Lion King, which garnered him an Ovation Award as Best Featured Actor as well as in multiple productions at Center City Encores! Series including the title role of Fiorello! Off-Broadway credits include Hollywood Pinafore at York Theatre, Topper at Musical Theatre Works, Daydreams-The Music and Magic of Doris Day at Intar Theatre, and Godspell at La Mamma E.T.C.
Steve Steiner (Caiaphas) appeared in the Broadway productions of State Fair, Buddy Holly Story, and Anything Goes, and Off-Broadway at Variety Arts Theatre in both Annie Warbucks and Return to the Forbidden Planet. Regional credits include starring roles in Diner at Delaware Theatre Company, Carnival at Florida Repertory Theatre, and The Sound of Music at Cleveland Opera.
Jesus Christ Superstar brings together a creative team of BRT veterans including set designer Roman Tatarowicz, lighting designer Joe Doran, costume designer Linda Bee Stockton, sound designer Liz Atkinson, and projection designer John Hoey.
BRT's 30th anniversary season concludes with Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution on May 9-28.
Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County and maintains a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. The theatre is the recipient of over 68 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by Theatre Philadelphia. In addition to its mainstage productions, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community, with such programs as children's theatre, community concerts and exhibitions of local visual arts. Currently under the direction of Artistic Director Keith Baker, Founding Director Susan D. Atkinson, and Managing Director Anne Kohn, BRT continues its 30th anniversary season. For information, visit www.brtstage.org.