Saturday, December 3, 2016

“Jesus Christ Super Star” in Concert at SDSU.

There are 23 musical numbers in the Andrew Lloyd Weber, Tim Rice rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar”. There are 28 characters playing important roles in the musical. Combine this with the entire SDSU orchestra, (65) the 2016 SDSU University Chorus (120) and voila! another major production of a mega Broadway smash in concert. "(Overture", Hosanna")

Of note Tug Watson ("Gethsemane")is a powerful Jesus with just the right musical nuances and body language to have at least one follower throughout, Mary Magdalene (a wonderfully sounding  “I Don’t’ Know How To Love Him” Susanna Vaughn).

On the other side of the coin Judas, ( "The Last Supper", “Heaven On Their Minds” Domonique D. Evans) issues the warning note to Jesus not to be too cocky.  Evans has, under most circumstances has what sounds like a very powerful operatic voice. This night however, it was strained as the night wore on. 

Interesting choices by director Stephen Brotebeck to have as the High Priests, (Priestess) Caiaphas and Annas as women sung with pointed accuracy by Katie Banville and Kimberly Moller. ("Juda's Death"). Much admiration to the pair for never leaving character even when seated waiting for their next round of rounding Jesus up. (“This Jesus Must Die”, "Damned For All Time"/ "Blood Money")

Colden Lamb is Herod, mocking and just about stealing the show with “Herod’s Song”, “King Of The Jews”. Well, it is a highlight of the show! Vinh Nguyen is outstanding as Simon Zealots and Jonathan Brugioni (Pilot’s Dream) might have been more engaged.


Jesus Christ Super Star.
Kudos to lead guitarist Nikki Nobleza. What a find. Michael Gerdes directs the orchestra and the amazing lighting design is credited to AJ Paulin. Projections and scenic design belong to Ray Leonard and Production Stage Manager is Aimee-Marie Holland. I know how difficult the work is for the stage manager. Hats Off!

Count me in as an admirer. The school gave us a concert version of “Les Miz” two years ago and it was nothing less than spectacular. This year with full orchestra, full choir, rock ensembles, the scholars at SDSU’s MFA Musical Theatre class of 2018 are at it again. Oft time with the same results, sometimes not so much. The chorus was not that effective, which was a shame.  However the overall take away…run, jog, skateboard or cycle to the Don Powell Theatre and get your high’s from this spectacle.


Sunday’s performance will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.

See you at the theatre.

Dates: Through Dec. 4th
Organization: SDSU
Tickets: $20.00 General admission, $15.00 for students
Production Type: Musical Concert
Where: San Diego State University
Venue: Don Powell Theatre

Photo: SDSU

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