Sunday, April 3, 2011

Heaven On Their Minds By Beverly Creasey

There’s always a production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR this time of year. Sometimes it’s a rock concert, sometimes it’s a theater production. Sometimes it’s at a club, or even in a church basement. So off to the South Shore we went to see SUPERSTAR at the Christ Congregational Church (with church members in the chorus and pros in the leads), directed by Teresa Capachione of the Capachione School for the Performing Arts in Bridgewater.

When you’ve seen dozens of SUPERSTARs, it’s refreshing to see a different take on the material. I can’t say I agree with the sexual heat igniting between Jesus and Mary Magdalene (or the apostles pairing off with women for the night: “Close Your Eyes…Everything’s Alright…”) but it certainly made the audience sit up and take notice. Having Pilate cradle a beaten, bloody Jesus in his arms, however, as he sang “Your Life is in My Hands” made the lyric resonate all over the place. It’s not often you see a conflicted Pilate in SUPERSTAR and it works.

Capachione is lucky (or should I say ‘blessed’) to have a beatific Jesus (Adam Joy), a lovely Mary Magdalene (Katherine Joy), a fierce Judas (Adam Rosencrance) and a charismatic Pilate (Alan Thomas)…as well as some talented performers in the smaller roles, namely Eddie Paris as Peter and Dan Boyd (in two roles), delivering a gorgeous “Power and the Glory.”

Music director Eli Bigelow’s orchestra managed the Andrew Lloyd Webber score beautifully, with inspiring trumpet work from Erik Johnson. The cavernous sanctuary made for some peculiar acoustics but what a coup, to have the definitive musical about Christ in Christ Church!