World’s first ever rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, comes to the shire

Miranda Musical Society will return to the Sutherland Entertainment Centre in this month with an exciting new production of the world’s first rock ever musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.

A global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, Jesus Christ Superstar is a timeless musical set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally known series of events which are seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

Originating as a ‘‘Double LP concept’’ album, Jesus Christ Superstar opened in London in 1970. By the time the show closed after 3,358 performances, it had become the longest- running musical in West End history.

Jesus Christ Superstar grew out of lyricist Tim Rice’s long-time fascination with Judas Iscariot, whom he conceived not as a craven betrayer of Jesus, but rather as a dear friend struggling with the implications of Jesus’ growing celebrity.

As the radical teachings of Jesus are increasingly embraced, Judas questions the enlightened motives of this new prophet, resulting in his betrayal. Christ’s final days are dramatised with emotional intensity, thought-provoking edge and explosive theatricality.

Penshurst singer Kyle Nozza, who recently graduated in Musical Theatre from the Queensland Conservatorium, plays the vocally daunting role of Jesus.

‘‘I’m incredibly excited because this is a show that is very close to my heart," Kyle said.

"I love the music and the way the story has been put together. I also love the fact that it has been reinvented over and over since the 70’s, and has endured with audiences through the generations.’’ 

Directing this production is Kirawee’s Tim Dennis.

‘‘Jesus Christ Superstar has been on my playlist since I was in high-school and, believe me, that’s a very long time!’’ laughed Tim. 

‘‘I am also excited about the fact that we are presenting a school matinee of this production on Thursday, March 21 at 11am.  This a something new for our company and we are thrilled that we are able to have this opportunity to introduce young students to this iconic piece of theatre."

Dolls Point’s Mark Gardner is thrilled to be playing the role of Ciaphas. 

‘‘Superstar was the first musical I ever saw back in the 70’s with the legendary Jon English as Judas. I have been such a huge fan of this show ever since!’’ 

Studying to be a primary school teacher, Menai singer Jayden Marre plays the Apostle Peter. Jayden’s love of musical theatre began in school productions, after which he joined the ensemble for three Miranda Musical shows.

‘‘I finally built up the courage to audition for a lead role and was so excited when I heard I got the part," Jayden said.

Sylvania dance teacher Stephanie Westbrook didn’t hesitate to accept the offer of choregraphing this production. 

Stephanie said, ‘‘Superstar is my all-time favourite musical, I simply cannot wait to bring my vision to life on the stage with such dynamic and exciting music to work with!’’ 

The show has one of the most stirring and iconic musical theatre scores ever written, and features hit songs including I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Everything’s Alright, Jesus Christ Superstar and Gethsemane.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christs Superstar at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre, March 20 to 24.