Main Street Arts announces Jesus Christ Superstar cast

SAXTONS RIVER — A cast of more than 60 has been assembled for the Main Street Arts production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that is set to open at the Bellows Falls Opera House Thursday, March 29 for a two-week run.

"Tremendous talent showed up at the auditions for this show, and we are super excited about the caliber of these cast members," said David Stern, the show's director and artistic director at MSA. "We have some exceptional performers in this group."

Among them are William Sawyer and Sean Roberts, who will alternate the role of Jesus.

Andrew Flaherty and Louis Vitale are playing Judas, and Allie McGahie and Hannah Hoffman are Mary.

Other cast members include Gavy Kessler (Pilate), Neal Cronce (Caiaphas), Libby McCawley (Annas), Ron Bos-Lun and Lynn Stanford (Priests), Dom DiBenedetto (Peter), Morganna Ekkens (Simon) and Henry O'Connell (Herod).

A dozen apostles and an ensemble of templegoers and crowd members make up the rest.

Ken Olsson is musical director and Annesa Hartman is choreographer.

A latecomer to acting, Sawyer says this is a dream role for him since the show has been his favorite since he first saw it as a youngster. He directed a production at the Lebanon Opera House for the North Country Community Theatre, but is excited to be on the other side of the proscenium this time.

Sawyer lives in Lyme, N.H., where he heads the Dance Collective.

Sharing the role of Jesus, Roberts is commuting from Grantham, N.H., for rehearsals because he has "wanted to play this role since high school," although he has previously played Dracula, Elmer P. Dowd (Harvey) and John Proctor (The Crucible ). He learned about MSA's production of Sweeney Todd last year but was too late to be cast for more than a small role.

Roberts directs World Under Wonder, a community organization that presented The Tempest at the Claremont, N.H., Opera House and has just purchased a building in Weathersfield Bow to house its theater programs.

The rock opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, was called "one of the 10 best musicals of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine. It has continued to wow audiences for 40 years as it tells the story of the last four days of the life of Jesus through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

Performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 29, 30 and 31, April 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. both Saturdays. Further information can be found by contacting MSA at (802) 869-2960, or on the MSA website or Facebook page.


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