www.mybaycity.com July 20, 2016
Arts/Theater Article 10522

Tony Serra as Jesus, rehearses a scene with ensemble members Philip Horen, Rachel Creed, Lauren Klett and Andy Harrington.
(MyBayCity Photo by Pati LaLonde)

Bay City Players present Jesus Christ Superstar

July 20, 2016
By: Pati LaLonde

It all began with a rock album and turned into a hit Broadway show that still draws audiences in 45 years later.

Bay City Players brings the classic rock opera"Jesus Christ Superstar" to the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 1214 Columbus Ave. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the story follows Jesus and His disciples during His last days.

"The songs are catchy," said Mike Wisniewski, director. "The only one to become a hit, 'I Don't Know How to Love Him,' is always a good audition piece (for actors)." Like last year's summer production of "Rent," Wisniewski says they were looking for something edgy to bring to the stage this summer.

"We wanted to do something edgy," said Wisniewski. "It's an interesting story and a great score. You can't beat the score. We are making edgy with costumes and the set." The set is best described as minimal with black platforms as the bones with various scenes project on the scrim.

"We have a couple of numbers in Act I that will give the audience the feeling they are going through Jerusalem," said Wisniewski. "It's done with imagery that gives the audience the essence of travel. The last supper has unique qualities."

Some of that imagery may be disturbing, says Wisniewski. "The 39 lashes will be very intense," he said. "It's a hard scene to watch." Wisniewski is putting it all together with a cast of 19, with some actors playing dual roles. "You can do a cast of 40 and they sound great," said Wisniewski. "We have 19 that sound incredible."

Principles include Tony Serra playing Jesus, Rachel Atiemo-Obeng as Mary Magdalene, Dan Taylor as Judas and Ben Beauvais as King Harrod.

Money raised from the show will go into the general fund.

Tickets are $20 for adults and senior citizens and $10 for students, and available at the box office by calling 989-893-5556 or online at http://baycityplayers.com, or one hour before the performances.

But, says Wisniewski, it's advised to get tickets early. A sell-out is expected.

Dan Taylor as Judas Iscariot and Tony Serra as Jesus of Nazareth
Photo by Pati LaLonde
© MyBayCity.com

Ensemble cast members Gezelle Myers, Andrew Fergerson, Rachel Creed, Lauren Klett rehearse a scene.
Photo by Pati LaLonde
© MyBayCity.com

Jesus of Nazareth, played by Tony Serra, contemplates his fate.
Photo by Pati LaLonde
© MyBayCity.com

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