We saw the Prince William Little Theater’s production of Jesus Christ, Super Star March 7th, and I want to recommend it to everyone. There’s not a weak link in the production, from the staging to the acting, singing, dancing and accompaniment from an incredibly tight band directed by local church musician Milton Rodgers.
The ensemble was strong throughout, with outstanding performances from Masters degree candidate Emma Gwin in her role as a carefully nuanced Mary Magdalene whose warm and winsome performance balanced John Downes’ quiet intensity as Jesus. Magdalene sang the signature piece of the musical “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” to Chrissy Mastrangelo as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, tempering some of the tension of that song. By turns animated and introspective, Terry Downes as Judas brought to life that conflicted and paradoxical personality. James Maxted played a puzzled and reluctant Herod paired with the gently insistent Christine Laird as his wife. (Full disclosure: Christine’s husband Jon serves as the phenomenal accompanist for the Manassas Chorale. They are both incredibly talented and personable young people. Christine put her degree in Theater Arts and considerable acting and singing experience to good use–and she not only performed on stage but also played violin several times.)
Joshua Wilson (Caiaphas) and Dan Bellotte (Annas) along with priests Brian Bertrand, Paul Rubenstein, and Michael Hertz formed a sinister if well-intentioned ensemble dressed in business suits draped with white tallits.
Those playing the disciples and members of the crowd were by turns devoted and hostile, making the switch easily and convincingly.
Ken Elston’s imaginative staging and directing restored Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original ending with a visually and emotionally touching depiction of the Resurrection. (The scene was cut at Tim Rice’s insistence in early productions.)
I have three more words for this production–Go. See. It. And tell your friends and family and offer to take them. You won’t regret it.