Lee & Finley Lead Yorkey's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Village Theatre
It is with great excitement that Village Theatre announces the return of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner Brian Yorkey (Next To Normal) to the director's seat for the upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Set to open in Issaquah on May 12, 2011, this incredibly dynamic production features some bold choices by Yorkey including non-traditional casting and shared roles between two of the most legendary musical theatre characters-Jesus of Nazareth and Judas Iscariot.
"When we were looking to cast Jesus and Judas, we realized that both characters are, in many ways, two sides of the same coin," Yorkey comments. "One of the most powerful messages of Jesus Christ Superstar is the profound impact of our choices. Keeping this in mind, we've decided to embrace a unique approach and cast both Michael K. Lee and Aaron Finley to share the roles of Jesus and Judas. By alternating performances, both actors will enjoy a great artistic challenge that will serve to bring each audience a unique experience."
International musical theatre icon, Michael K. Lee returns to the Mainstage as Jesus and Judas, previously appearing on the Mainstage in The King and I (2007-2008), The Who's TOMMY (2007), The Wedding Banquet (2004), and Making Tracks (2002). Of the shared role experience, Lee comments, "I'm absolutely thrilled...and scared to death. What an opportunity and what a challenge on many levels. Brian [Yorkey] is one of the smartest people I know, and one of the few directors I trust implicitly. It should really be an exciting process and journey." Lee has had many turns on Broadway in such productions as Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon, and RENT-he has also performed around the world: Miss Saigon (Korea); Where Elephants Weep (Cambodia); They're Playing Our Song (Philippines); A Twist of Fate (Singapore); The Last 5 Years (2009 Los Angeles - Ovation Nomination); and many others.
Local musical theatre rising star Aaron Finley shares these legendary roles with Lee. Finley was last seen at Village Theatre in the Mainstage production of The Gypsy King (2010), and the Festival readings of Take Me America (2009) and It Shoulda Been You (2010)-both productions part of Village Theatre's upcoming 2011-2012 Mainstage season. His recent theatre credits include local appearances at The 5th Avenue Theatre, Taproot Theatre, and ArtsWest.
Brian Yorkey credits include: (Director) Mainstage: Lost in Yonkers, the Footlight Award-winning The Who's TOMMY, and The Importance of Being Earnest, EVITA and AIDA (co-director), Play It By Heart (book), Making Tracks and The Wedding Banquet (book/lyrics), The Secret Garden and To Kill a Mockingbird (director), and The Ark and Girl of My Dreams (dramaturg). Village Originals: Searching for Y and Six Wives (direction). Broadway: Next to Normal (2009 Tony Award, Best Score; Pulitzer Prize). Film in development: Score! for Warner Brothers and Team Downey; Love Undercover for Pandemonium Films and Overture; Chase for Rosenzweig Films and Anonymous Content. Village Theatre Associate Artistic Director, 2000-2007.
Additional cast members in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR include Nicholas Beach, Jordon Anthony Bolden, Elise Lenna Campello, Khanh Doan, Ashley Fitzsimmons, Andrew W. Garrett, Timothy Glynn (Annas), LaVon Hardison, Darrell Hokuf, Eric Polani Jensen (Caiaphas), Timothy M. Keller, Josh Krupke, Matthew S. Lawrence, Jessica Low, Christian Rey Marbella, Henry Nettleton, Michael Nicholas, Jennifer Paz (Mary Magdalene), James Scheider, John David Scott, Adam Somers, Greg Stone (Pontius Pilate), Matthew Wade, Troy L. Wageman, Brandon Whitehead (King Herod), and William A. Williams. Find more information on the full cast page here: http://www.villagetheatre.org/jcs_cast.php
Production team: Directed by Brian Yorkey (The Who's TOMMY, 2007; The Importance of Being Earnest, 2009; Lost in Yonkers, 2010), with choreography by Daniel Cruz (AIDA, 2008), music directed by Tim Symons (The Full Monty, 2010), scenic design by Matthew Smucker (Shadowlands, 2007); lighting design by Alex Berry (Beauty and the Beast, 2008-2009; The Who's TOMMY, 2007), costume design by Melanie Burgess (The King and I, 2007-2008; Sleuth, 2011), sound design by Gino Scarpino (The Full Monty, 2010; Iron Curtain, 2011), associate direction by Brandon Ivie (Asst. Director, Lost in Yonkers, 2010), and fight choreography by Geoffrey Alm (The Gypsy King, 2010).