Post-Apocalyptic Jesus Christ Superstar - Article, Office of College Advancement

Tuesday, November 5, 2013—Reprinted from Tri-City Voice.

Submitted by Ohlone College.

The year is 2033—global warming and nuclear fallout have created an environmental and economic disaster of global proportion. The governmental void has been quickly filled by the few who seek power and wealth at the expense of the many, creating an oppressive upper class minority, the zero point one percent, feeding off the weakness of the poor and powerless majority.

Two soldiers point guns at Jesus.

The Republic of Mercantile Executives (R.O.M.E) has formed, claiming to be the antidote to the global problems plaguing society. Blackwater's COO, Pontius Pilate, reports company stock rising dramatically as riots plague the streets and erupt between corporate states. Every corporate state now uses Blackwater to police their people. Held down by leaders like Herod Antipas, CEO of Judea, the people have nowhere to turn—until a new leader emerges to save them all.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's timeless rock opera, a dramatization of the last seven days of Jesus' life, is thrown 20 years forward into a future that's not too hard to imagine, and features spectacular performances. Director Michael Navarra's adaptation of "Jesus Christ Superstar" transports you into an eerie post-apocalyptic world, where you'll experience the intense action from all angles.

"From the beginning, we decided to use every inch of the theatre as our playing space. As actors drop from the ceiling, cut through the audience, and play on all sides. The audience is in the middle of the action. The goal is to create an intimate, visceral, and immediate experience for the audience," said Navarra.

Michael Navarra is a professional producer, director, and actor in both theatre and film. His producing credits include "Us," a feature film starring Alanna Ubach, which premiered in June 2013 at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; the pilot episode for "Finding the One," which he also wrote and directed; the documentary "Resurrecting Love;" and Sam Shepard's play "Fool For Love" in Seattle, Washington. Navarra has directed two other productions at Ohlone College: "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" and "Proof," which premiered as part of Ohlone's SummerFest 2013 this past July.

Aside from this talented director, the cast brings their share of talent and experience to the performance. Cliff McCormick, who plays the title role of Jesus, is a singer and actor who portrayed the roles of Jekyll/Hyde and Jean Valjean from "Les Miserables." He has starred in film, as Clyde in "Max's Hammer," a Brooks Institute Short, and acted as Hedwig #2 in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Stacey Lynn Bell's experience in lead roles has prepared her for her portrayal of Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus who finds herself falling in love with him. This past summer Bell starred in two Ohlone College theatre productions, "Proof" and "Pop! Goes the Mashup." She was nominated for the Irene Ryan Scholarship for her performances in "Dog Sees God" at the regional Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival last year.

Adam Fresquez portrays Judas, arguably the main protagonist of the show. Frequez works fulltime as an audio technician. After hours he's managed to direct numerous shows and has even written a musical review. In addition, he has performed in "A Little Night Music" as Count Car-Magnus and performed in Ohlone's first "Mash-Up: A Musical Review" in 2012. His extraordinary singing ability is well-known, and actually got him cast in a reality TV show on CW-TV when producers saw a video of his musical proposal to his future wife on YouTube!

With 15 years of acting experience and now as a director, Scott Di Lorenzo takes on the role of Pilate, who foresees in a dream the events of Jesus' crucifixion from the beginning to the aftermath. Currently artistic director at Irvington Conservatory Theater, his acting credits include Sir Toby Belch in "Much Ado About Nothing," Iago in "Othello," and Reverend Parris in "The Crucible."

Paul Heijn has been connected to the Ohlone College Theatre Department for more years than he wants to admit. He has been part of four productions of "Jesus Christ Superstar," first as an apostle, then as Christ, then as Pilate. For this production he will portray Caiaphas, one of the main antagonists.

Prepare to be transported into the new world order of 2033. You won't want to miss this revolutionary show that will make you feel so close to the characters that you'll feel like you are part of the cast.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 7 - 9, 14 - 16, and 21 - 23
    (ASL Interpreted Nov. 7)
  • 8 p.m.
  • Smith Center at Ohlone College, NUMMI Studio Theatre
    43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
  • (510) 659-6031
  • www.smithcenter.com
  • Tickets: $15 - $20; $2 parking

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