Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by: Tim Rice.
Director and Choreographer: Ron Kellum.
Musical Direction: Tom Vendafreddo and Kory Danielson.
Wow! “Jesus Christ Superstar” Soars to New Heights!
So you know a show is good when it is intermission and you long for more! I never remember the first half of this show flying by as fast as it did-ever-and I have seen many versions of this show over the years.
In case you have never seen this show –the portrayal of the last 7 days of the life of Jesus and his followers take you on the journey leading up to The Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane and the fall and rise of this man known as Jesus. I know this show was really controversial when it came out oh so long ago, however each time I see this show it always reminds me WWJD (what would Jesus do)? And that I should try and turn the other cheek and enjoy the time we have here.
Evan Tyrone Martin is Jesus, Mykal Kilgore is Judas and Felicia Boswell is Mary. They are the stars but do not underestimate the talent of those high priests Lorenzo Rush, Jr. as Caiaphas, Avionce Hoyles as Annas and King Herod (I just realized he played both roles). Rufus Bonds, Jr. as Pontius Pilot amazed me at the dream. Everyone in this cast is a star after all, it takes a village or in this case a bunch of disciples and villagers to make this show as spectacular as it is.
This 1970’s rock opera is transported to us in a hip new way with an incredible cast. Judas, Judas, Judas how I want to not like you, but you move me with such a powerful presence and incredible voice. Jesus is a gentle yet persuasive leader and Mary belted “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” with some notes I did not even know existed.
The amazing and functional scenic design by Kevin Depinet has the cast nicely transform from one number to the next swimmingly. I should mention that the costume design by Theresa Ham are subtle where they need to be and funky and fun where appropriate. She has yet to miss the mark.
I honestly have to say this is the best version of Jesus Christ Superstar I have ever seen. Why should that surprise me when Jim Corti has been hitting every show out of the ballpark as of late?
My thoughts below on favorite musical numbers:
Strongest Voices: Overture and Pilate’s Dream
Most powerful song: Gethsemane
Most entertaining song: Herod’s Song and Jesus Christ Superstar
Widest range ever used in a song: I Don’t Know How to Love Him
If you have seen this show before go again because it will simply blow you away and if you have never seen this show it will leave you longing for more.
Reviewed on April 30th by Sally Osborne.
Running time 1 hour 50 minutes with one 15 minute intermission
“Jesus Christ Superstar” plays through May 28, 2017 at The Paramount Theatre 23 E Galena Blvd in Aurora, IL. Tickets range from $44 to $59 with performances on Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursdays 7 p.m. Fridays 8 p.m. Saturdays 3 and 8 p.m. Sundays 1 and 5:30 p.m. For tickets call 630-896-6666, visit http://www.paramountaurora.com or http://www.theatreinchicago.com.