Leading up to The Kelsey Awards on Saturday, July 25th, we will be highlighting the five musicals nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical. Today, we’ll take a glance at Playful Theatre Production’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
When the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar hit the Broadway stage in 1971, it was an electrifying leap into a new kind of musical. The power of the music and the story that it tells still resonate some four decades later. In the Fall of 2014, Playful Theatre Productions proudly presented Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Kelsey Award nominated and Tony Award winning show inside Kelsey.
Loosely based on St. John’s Gospel account of the last week in the life of Jesus, the complex story is intensified by its musical retelling through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Mixing issues of religion, politics both ancient and decidedly contemporary, mob psychology and personal responsibility, this riveting show was a must-see production for its depiction of the life and times of Jesus and its groundbreaking place in the annals of musical theater.
The cast starred Michael Scibilia of Willow Grove, Pa., as Jesus Christ; Richard Damaso of Milltown as Judas Iscariot; Vianna Fagel of Lawrenceville as Mary Magdalene; Ben Simons of North Brunswick as Pontius Pilate, and Maria Aromando of Bridgewater as Herod. Also featured are Evan Bilinski of Franklin Park as Caiaphas the High Priest; Tia Brown of Ewing as Simon Zealotes; and Matt Dawson of Hillsborough as Annas the High Priest.
The Apostles included Reginald Brockington of Hamilton, Melody Dougherty of Philadelphia, Pa., Jennifer Fischer of Hamilton, Michael Gearty of Langhorne, Pa., Bridget Hughes of Jackson, Paul Lasky of Hamilton, Jenna O’Neill of Hamilton, Christopher Singh of West Windsor, and Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa. Lead dancers were Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown and Emily O’Sullivan of Hamilton.
2015 KELSEY AWARD NOMINATIONS
- Outstanding Sound Design
- Outstanding Lighting Design
- Outstanding Set & Scenic Design
- Outstanding Choreography
- Outstanding Vocal & Music Direction
- Outstanding Direction of a Musical
- Singer of the Year (Michael Scibilia as “Jesus”)
- Outstanding Kelsey Theatre Debut (Ben Simons as “Pilate”)
- Outstanding Musical Number (“Simon Zealotes”)
- Villain of the Year (Maria Aromando as “Herod”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Tia Brown as “Simon Zealotes”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (Ben Simons as “Pilate”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (Michael Zweig as “Peter”)
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (Michael Scibilia as “Jesus”)
- Outstanding Production of a Musical