By Beth Mack
March 21, 2022 (updated)
The timeless rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber with lyrics by Tim Rice, has reverberated across the globe for the past five decades. This week, from March 22 – 27, the smash hit musical will be making a stop in the Queen City at Belk Theater as part of its nationwide 50th Anniversary Tour.
Jesus Christ Superstar was originally released as a concept album in 1970 and quickly found its way to Broadway by late 1971, where it ran for over two years. While the musical did not win any of its five Tony nominations, the album captured the top spot in US Billboard’s Top 200 in 1971. The musical was then picked up by London’s prestigious West End in 1972 for another production. The fanbase of Jesus Christ Superstar has elicited three Broadway revivals (1977, 2000, 2002), one West End revival (1996), a United Kingdom tour (2012), a run at London’s iconic Regent’s Park Open Air Theater (2016), and a US tour (2019), in addition to two film adaptations in 1973 and 1999. Pepe Nufrio, who is the Jesus and Judas standby for the production understands the legacy of the long-running musical.
“It’s truly remarkable and you always feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. There have been so many productions of this incredible rock opera and so many legends that played these characters that you just feel like the current chapter of a great novel,” Nufrio said.
Inspired by the “Gospel’s account of the Passion,” Jesus Christ Superstar is a musical dramatization that follows the final days in the life of Jesus Christ (Aaron LaVigne), as told from the point of view of his disciple, Judas (Omar Lopez-Cepero). The 50th Anniversary tour follows the original staging of the 2016 Regent’s Park Open Air Theater rendition directed by Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and choreographed by Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom). This production of the musical garnered much acclaim, and culminated in an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival in 2017.
“When you combine this powerful, timeless story with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the music direction of Tom Deering, the choreography of Drew McOnie, the vision of our director Tim Sheader, and the love our producer Steve Gabriel has for this show, you get nothing short of a pretty unforgettable night at the theater,” said Nufrio.
While the well-known Christian story is over 2,000 years old, one of the main draws of the musical has been its original rock music. This production stays true to its roots with all of the original scores including “Gethsemane,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and “Superstar.” Whether you are a first time attendee or an avid fan, you can expect to be mesmerized by the experience.
Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m.
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