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Jesus Christ Superstar resurrected for LSCO

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 Director Fran Rude is resurrecting rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar to help raise some money for the LSCO, Oct. 13-16 at the Yates Theatre.

“I never realized what a hub of the community the LSCO is until I started taking classes there,” said Rude, noting all proceeds from the $52 tickets will go towards programming at the LSCO.

“ So it is a good cause,” said musical director Ken Rogers, who is conducting a live, 16 piece pit band to accompany the 44 member cast.David Mikuliak and George Gallant rehearse Jesus Christ Superstar, which runs at the Yates Theatre, Oct.t. 13-16. Photo by Richard Amery

  This will be the third time Rude has directed the famous 1970 Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera about the final seven days of Jesus Christ.
 It was turned into a popular movie in 1973.

 This production includes several of the members from the first production Rude directed 30 years ago and a few of the original costumes.
“When you decide to put on Jesus Christ Superstar, all license holders send you is the book of music, so I had to carry a Bible around with me the first time to see who is in what scene,” Rude said, noting her productions focuses on the Book of John’s story of the crucifixion and resurrection.

 She is excited to welcome back George Gallant as Jesus.
“It’s his iconic role,” she said.
 The experienced cast also includes Mark Campbell as Judas, Dave Mikuliak as Pilate, Bill Lawson as Herod, Jory Kohn as  Mary Magdalene, Martin Madge as Caiaphas, Chris Klassen as Peter, Evan Herbert as Simon Zealotes and Mark Wood as Annas.
“It’s a revival of production 30 years ago.The singing is fabulous, the writing is great and we have five of the eight original principals. And several of the original chorus members,” she enthused.
Ken Rogers is excited about the musical part of the show.
“We have a 16 member live band. We’re going to fill the pit. They are all really the top players in the city. Some of them were in the first production like Don Robb and I’ve done a lot of stuff with them,” Rogers said.
Rude is proud of her cast.
“It is a big cast with 44 people in it. The original had 55. It’s a big show, which can be challenging. It is well organized,“ Rude said.
“They are making me proud,” she enthused.

“They have been great about getting together on their own to work. And with things like the internet, we can make a dropbox to send them songs and Youtube. But we’re making our own materials and creating our own tools,” she said.
“They are progressing so quickly,” she said.Fran Rude directs a rehearsal of Jesus Christ Superstar.Photo by Richard Amery


Rude is happy to support the LSCO.
“This is their music,” she said, adding the production will be pretty similar to the first production, though the returning principals have aged.

 She noted they are using some of the original costumes and Helen Barber is  designing others.
Joy Ackerman is handling choreography.

Cole Fetting is excited to be part of the chorus and to play an apostle.
“I love the score and I wanted to work with Fran Rude,” said Fetting, who jumped into rehearsals for Jesus Christ Superstar as soon as he ended his run in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
“I saw the movie once and as soon as I saw it, I fell in love with the score and knew that someday, I would be part of Jesus Christ Superstar some day,” he said.
“And I’ve loved working with George and David,” he said.

Rude noted tickets are selling well, with 75 per cent sold out two weeks before the show.
“ She hopes, in addition to helping the LSCO, that people will enjoy the show and think about it.
“I hope they take away curiosity. It’s about the last seven days of Jesus’s life. It asks a lot of questions about a lot of different things. There are a lot of different realities of Judas and Jesus. They have a very interesting dynamic,” she said.
Jesus Christ Superstar runs at the Yates Theatre, Oct. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. each night,  and a 2 p.m matinee on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Tickets are available for $52 at the Ticket Centre. or by calling 329-SEAT (7328).

 A version of this story appears in the Oct. 5, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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