“Jesus Christ Superstar” opening March 29 at the Opera House

Jesus Christ Superstar Is Set to Open in Bellows Falls March 29. Photo by Malcolm Blue.

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – What’s the buzz? Ask Jesus’ apostles as they wake from sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane to find him being hauled off by Roman soldiers.

Theatergoers are asking the same question as excitement revs up before the curtain rises on the Main Street Arts production of the rock musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Bellows Falls Opera House Thursday, March 29 for the beginning of a two-weekend run.

With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the production is a modern telling of the passion of Christ as seen through the eyes of his betrayer, Judas Iscariot. The production features a cast of 50 who work against a dramatic but pared down backdrop that suggests the power of the authorities, the rugged terrain, and the horror of the coming crucifixion. Sean Roberts and William Sawyer alternately place Jesus with Louis Vitale and Andrew Flaherty sharing the role of Judas. Gavy Kessler plays a larger-than-life Pontius Pilate as he struts around on dry waller’s stilts in his black and silver outfit. Herod is brought to life in all his malevolence by Henry O’Connell dressed in a dandy’s feather-decorated outfit, while Mary Magdalene is played dually by Allie McGahie and Hannah Hoffman.

The MSA production is directed by David Stern, with Ken Olsson as musical director and Annesa Hartman as choreographer. Sandy Klein and her assistant Veda Crewe have created costumes that are both fanciful and evocative. Stage design is by Stern, with a crew that includes Edward Dinnany and John “Chip” O’Brien. Stage manager is Barbie Kurkul, assisted by Ronnie Friedman.

In addition to Thursday’s opening, show times are Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31 and April 6 and 7, all at 7:30 p.m., with matinees both Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available with reserved seating for a range of prices depending on the performance and whether student or adult. There is a discount for group ticket purchases. Reservations can be made and seating selected at www.mainstreetarts.org or by calling 802-869-2960.

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