Sometimes you just need to return to a classic to truly appreciate the art of theater. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities latest production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” certainly lets audiences appreciate theater in full force.
This timeless show that opened more than 40 years ago in 1971 on Broadway has gone on to become a film and receive multiple productions and revivals around the world.
This rock opera follows the final days of Jesus (Billy Lewis, Jr) as he is teaching, arrested and eventually crucified. Lewis does a heavenly job of bringing Jesus to life. He creates a man that is omnipotent, but still nervous of the road ahead. Lewis’s vocals are strong, powerful and hearty, he is a perfect Jesus.
Jenna Bainbridge made her Arvada Center debut as Mary Magdalene. After many amazing performances in Colorado there was no doubt that Bainbridge would be perfect in this role.
The rock of the show though was Judas (Matt LaFontaine). After recently playing Che in “Evita” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse he was primed and ready for the role of Judas. Lafontaine certainly rose to the challenge of this complex and heavy character. He was able to carry the character with ease and grace while delivering a performance that is able to move anyone watching.
This production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” does the icon music and show a true service. The entire production was spot on. Brian Mallgrave’s set, featuring a turn table, was a true masterpiece, Shannon McKinney’s lighting design was a divine spectacle and Rod Lansberry’s direction created a show is a masterpiece.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” **** (out of four stars)
This classic show is now playing at the Arvada Center 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Directed by Rod Lansberry. Starring Billy Lewis Jr., Napoleon M. Douglas and Jenna Bainbridge. Through April 16th. For tickets visit arvadacenter.org
Other productions currently playing: