Monday, April 21, 2008

Acting Up Ministries of the First United Methodist Church presents “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Acting Up Ministries of the First United Methodist Church presents “Jesus Christ Superstar,” April 25 through April 27 at the Griffin Auditorium.

The 1969 rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (their first) chronicles the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his disciple, Judas Iscariot.

The action of the two act opera follows the Gospels’ accounts of the last weeks of Jesus’ life, beginning with Jesus and his followers arriving in Jerusalem and ending with the Resurrection.

Originally appearing as a 1970 Decca LP recording because producers were afraid to take a chance on such a daring production, “Jesus Christ Superstar” eventually premiered on Broadway in New York on October 12, 1971. The show, directed by Tom O’Horgan, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre to mixed reviews but despite opposition from certain religious groups, the production became a huge box office hit and ran for over seven hundred performances.

A year later the musical opened in London’s West End and ran for eight years.

The Oscar-nominated film adaptation of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was released in 1973 and became the eighth highest-grossing film of that year.

Featuring such notable songs as the title song, “Superstar,” sung by Judas, and "I Don't Know How to Love Him," sung by Mary Magdalene and “Everything's Alright” are familiar stand-alone hits from the show and earned five Tony Award nominations.

Some religious groups condemned the Broadway show and subsequent productions. However, three decades after its debut, the furor over the multi-Tony Award winning opera died down.
Today it is routinely performed by many civic and church groups, who appreciate it simply as an established secular play concerning the life of Jesus set to music.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is directed by Nancy Beall with Adam Grubbs as Jesus; Jordan Hale as Judas; Allison Kirkland as Mary and Gene Sheffield as Caiaphas. Seth Davis has recorded the energetic accompanying score.

The remainder of the thirty-member cast, including Priests, Disciples and Soldiers, are from the Griffin/Spalding County pool of talent that are often seen in Main Street Theatre and Camelot Theatre productions.

Acting Up Ministries, the dramatic ministry of Griffin’s First United Methodist Church, brings “Jesus Christ Superstar” to the Griffin Auditorium, 324 East Taylor Street at Sixth Street, this Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at 7:00PM and Sunday, April 27 at 2:00PM. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and $5 for students.

For more information, please call 770-228-3020 or visit www.griffin-fumc.org.

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