Jesus Christ Superstar was originally written as a rock opera album before it made it Broadway debut in 1971. That same year, Jesus Christ Superstar was nominated for 5 Tony Awards. It has been performed by many for 46 years. And now the longtime running rock opera has made its way to the stage at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
This was the first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and has been a phenomenon ever since. From large theatres to the smaller ones, this show has been a must see for many people. It has been produced in 42 countries and each one of these has been a masterpiece.
The Arvada Center’s production is no exception. Under the direction of Rod A. Lansberry, opening night on Friday, March 24th was another major production on an amazing stage. Lansberry takes you through the final days of Jesus Christ and shows the passion we as humans have and the support we give him. The audience will relive the days of Christ being betrayed and the agony and rapture filled with the final days.
This is all presented with a prodigious cast led by Billy Lewis, Jr. in the lead role of Jesus of Nazareth. Lewis, Jr. was last seen as Mason McCarthy on the FOX television show Glee. Supporting Billy Lewis, Jr. are Matt LaFontaine (Judas Iscariot), Jenna Bainbridge (Mary Magdalene), Stephen Day (Caiaphas), Joe Callahan (Annas), Markus Warren (Pontius Pilate) and Wayne Kennedy (King Herod). As they relive the final days, the audience is held mesmerized and there are many emotions shared by all. The audience shares in the performers’ laughter, joy, tears and pain as we experience a turbulent times of such a wonderful man. Apostle Judas Iscariot is not afraid to express his concern over Jesus and his popularity of being referred to as “King”. Even though Judas still respects Jesus, he has many personal issues with Jesus and his followers. He receives a reward to tell the guards where Jesus is. As Mary Magdalene tries to comfort Jesus, Judas is worried that there are other emotions associated with Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s profession of a prostitute. Jesus Christ knows that he is going to be betrayed and lets the betrayers know who they are. As many followers are criticizing Jesus about the way he treats everyone, he does let them know that if any of his followers are without sin, then they should not judge others. As the uproar continues, Jesus is led to Jerusalem. Through it all, Jesus still continues to care for everyone no matter what people say about him.
The music is riveting and non-stop. There is no actual dialogue as most every word is sung. It is not your typical play but it is a very moving opera that will keep your attention throughout the entirety of this fantastic and award winning masterpiece.
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has presented a lot of monumental performances over time and they keep getting better and larger. The casting is impressive and the music is spectacular. If you want to share in the magic of the arts, check out the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. The famous rock opera runs through April 16th and you can purchase tickets at by clicking here or you can call 720-898-7200.
You never know when Mother Nature will turn on you and make you change your schedule. Driving through Kansas in the wintertime can be treacherous at times. But throw in a big snowstorm that creates havoc across the state, a bus driving at night with passengers, road closures, and now you have 8 stranded people ending up at a restaurant known as Grace's.
Bus Stop was written by the fantastic William Inge, directed by Allison Watrous,and stars some of the best talent that has been on stage at the Arvada Center For The Arts and Humanities. The story takes place in 1955 and owner Grace Hoyland (Kate Gleason) and her employee Elma Duckworth (Jenna Moll Reyes) are in for a long night as Grace's needs to stay open for the bus that will make its way through the small town very soon. As the bus pulls into the lot, sheriff Will Masters (Geoffrey Kent) lets the restaurant know that the highway is shut down due to the winter storm.
Moments later Cherie (Emily Van Fleet) enters and is in need of help quickly. Seems she is being taking to Montana against her will by strong man Bo Decker (Sean Scrutchins) who is learning life the hard way. But he has a great friend and ranch hand Virgil Blessing (Michael Morgan). Also traveling is Dr. Gerald Lyman (Sam Gregory) and driver Carl (Josh Robinson).
As Grace and Elma try to do the best they can in keeping everyone happy in spite of the storm and having to stay overnight, the laughs are many and secrets are revealed. Dr. Lyman helps naive Elma to come out of her she'll a bit while Carl and Grace think they are being discreet about their rendezvous when the bus come through all the time. Keeping peace while the group cannot travel are Will and Virgil.
The story was nominated for four Tony Awards and rightfully so. It is witty, cleverly written and in the true style of William Inge, tells a great story. You can get tickets for Bus Stop by visiting arvadacenter.org or by calling 720-898-7200. The play runs through April 15 and is presented in The Black Box Theater.
You might not be able to tell it from the weather we are experiencing, but the holidays are approaching fast. In just a few days, we will all be celebrating with our friends and families as we gather around the table to join in a feast as we give thanks to many. Then it is off to the malls to do some Black Friday shopping. But what else are you doing? Maybe take some time for yourself and trek over to the Arvada Center and catch the world premiere musical “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” As the Arvada Center celebrates 40 years of wonderful musicals, art exhibits, classes and so much for the Arvada community, this is the first that a world premiere as made the stage.
With many returning actors and actresses, the Arvada Center is proud to have others making their debut here and what a performance these great people give. This is one of the most watched musicals during the holiday season. As the Bright family prepares for another episode sharing their lives with the viewers on CBS television, somethings don’t go as planned. But not to worry, there are many people along the way to help this evening’s performance make CBS proud.
The cast includes Noah Racey (Dana Bright), Megan Van De Hey (Louise Bright), Jake Mendes (Simon Bright), Km McClay (Maggie Bright), Darius Jordan Lee (Sandy Carpenter), Andrew John Diessner (Lee Ramble), Sharon Kay White (Carol Marie) and Sherl McCallum (Ruby Baxter). Jake, Kim, Darius, and Sheryl are all making their debut with Arvada Center. This leading cast puts on one of the best performances you will ever witness. Along with this cast is a supporting cast of many talented actors and actresses who have either been with the Arvada Center or are making their debuts as well. And the audience helps make this musical a sensation. Yes that is right, the audience has to be able to take directions as well and be on queue with their part. You will feel like you are actually on the set of CBS as you join in the festivities. And for the little ones in the audience, they will get to experience exactly what happens on a live television set.
This exciting musical runs through December 23rd, and would be a wonderful early gift for anyone to enjoy. You can get your tickets here or call 720-898-7200. But don’t delay as this world premiere is not leaving much room for empty seating. Order today and Happy Holidays!