'Jesus Christ Superstar' to close on Broadway July 1 'unless business improves' - InfoNews

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'Jesus Christ Superstar' to close on Broadway July 1 'unless business improves'

June 20, 2012 - 2:46 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - "Jesus Christ Superstar"'s day of reckoning on Broadway appears near.

Producers say the revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera that was a hot ticket at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival last summer will close on Broadway on July 1 "unless business improves."

As of that date, the show will have played 116 regular performances and 24 previews.

Helmed by outgoing Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff, "Jesus Christ Superstar" began previews at New York's Neil Simon Theatre on March 1 and opened on March 22.

It originated last summer at the Stratford theatre festival in southwestern Ontario with much the same cast, including American actor Josh Young, who recently landed a Tony and a Theatre World Award nomination for playing Judas.

The show was also up for a Tony for best revival of a musical and received Drama Desk and Drama League nominations.

Other cast members include Paul Nolan as Jesus, Chilina Kennedy as Mary, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, and Bruce Dow as King Herod.

Both Lloyd Webber and Rice have praised the production, which chronicles the last week of Christ's life and explores what McAnuff has called a "love triangle" between Jesus, Mary and Judas.

And Aaron Walpole, who plays high priest Annas in the show, said "the crowd went nuts for the show" on opening night on Broadway.

But reviews on the Great White Way have been mixed and, as Walpole noted, "no matter how amazing the audience is on opening night, you never know how long the show is going to go."

"There have been shows on Broadway that have had spectacular reviews and big standing ovations on opening night, and then they've folded a month later. And there have been shows that haven't done well on opening night and haven't had great reviews that have gone on for years," he said in an interview with The Canadian Press in March.

"You never really know. We can only take it a week at a time."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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