North Central College Summer Musical Theatre presents “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Jun 24, 2013

North Central College’s Summer Musical Theatre presents “Jesus Christ Superstar” June 28-30 and July 5-7 and features actors from the community.

Six performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. June 28-29 and July 5-6 and at 2 p.m. June 30 and July 7 in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $15/adults and $10/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Jesus Christ Superstar” became a smash hit Broadway musical in its 1971 debut and added a new dimension to musical theatre: the rock opera. Both critically and publicly acclaimed, the musical also achieved success abroad, including London’s West End. It received five Tony Award nominations in 1972, including Best Original Score for an uncharacteristic blend of rock, heavy metal and theatrical pop. “Jesus Christ Superstar” offers a combination of powerful, unforgettable music and the wrenching emotion of the greatest story ever told.

“Audiences should expect to see a rock concert-inspired production,” said Susan Craig-Olsen, choreographer and director of the production and a lecturer in theatre at the College. “They will hear all the amazing rock riffs of the original album, with voices to overshadow the original singers—no exaggeration.”

A theater educator, Craig-Olsen is a veteran performer in Chicago theatre and has toured nationally as a cast member of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring Donny Osmond.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is a musical that provides the director with unique creative opportunities, says Craig-Olsen. “Our production approaches the subject in a way that creates more questions than answers. It has earthy, sensuous and at times even supernatural elements to add color to what must have been in people’s minds at the time of Jesus. We hope that our take on the subject is fresh and even a bit unsettling.”

The cast of principal roles for “Jesus Christ Superstar” includes (part: name, hometown, North Central College student status):
Jesus: Max DeTogne of Arlington Heights, a 2013 graduate with a major in theatre and speech communication
Judas: Harrison Ashley of West Chicago, a senior majoring in musical theatre
Judas: Mik Dempsey of Naperville, a 2004 graduate with a major in theatre
Pilate: Brad Morrison of St. Charles, a 2013 graduate with majors in theatre and music
Simon: Chad Pedigo of Naperville, a 2006 graduate with a major in musical theatre
Herod: Cullen Rogers of North Aurora, a senior with a double major in psychology and theatre
Caiaphas: Adam Billman-Galuhn of Aurora, a 2006 graduate with a major in history
Mary Magdalene: Chelsea Ward of Naperville, a junior majoring in musical theatre
Peter: Keith Carlson of Naperville, a 1995 graduate with a major in English writing
Soldiers: A.J. Wiewel of Quincy, a 2013 graduate with a double major in theatre and psychology; Sean Lynch of Warrenville, a junior with a double major in broadcast communication and sociology
Annas: Brian Mengler of St. Charles, a 2012 graduate majoring in choral music
Old Man: Daniel Hicks
Priests: Dennis Ortman; Mark Yacullo of Naperville, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre; Brian Warren of Glendale Heights, a senior majoring in theatre

The performance marks the 16th season of North Central College’s Summer Musical Theatre series, though the tradition of summer musicals at the College dates back more than 50 years. “Jesus Christ Superstar” is the first of three summer productions for 2013. “Iolanthe,” directed by Matt Boresi, will be staged July 12-14 and July 18-20; and “Peter Pan,” directed by Brian Lynch, will run July 26-28 and Aug. 2-4.

North Central College’s 2013-2014 Fine and Performing Arts Season is partially sponsored by USG Corporation and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Season supporters include BMO Harris, Bulley & Andrews, Casa by Charleston, Grant Thornton, J.P. Morgan, Main Street Promenade, Marquette Properties, Nicor Gas, Ryan Hill Realty, Turner Construction Company, U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve and Water Street Development.