Meadville local Jason Shaffer has been involved in musical theater for many years, but “Jesus Christ Superstar” was his first time directing a production. He brought together a cast of dancers, singers, band members, set builders and costumers who together have put their heart and soul into the popular 1970s rock opera. Tommy Fields who plays Jesus, and Sean Fleming, who play Judas are both newcomers to the Academy Theatre from Erie, PA, and Kent, OH respectively. They lead up a cast of more than 75 people who bring this musical to life in dramatic fashion.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it portrays the last week of Jesus’ life from the viewpoint of Judas. The show is set alive with vibrant costumes and groovy dances, topped off with a rock band right on the stage. The set is an ancient temple, designed by Jason’s mother Yvonne Shaffer. A hard working set crew worked countless days and hours to bring her vision to life.
Many of those who have attended the show over the past 3 weekends have returned two or three times to see it again. Some came to see the show because they were fans of the original 1970s production, while others came to the theater to see it for the very first time. One thing is for sure, audience members leave “Jesus Christ Superstar”, feeling moved by the emotional portrayal of love that they witness.
The show was originally scheduled for ten performances, but due to overwhelming popularity, the Academy Theatre has extended its run for one more weekend. The two encore performances will be on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m, February 2nd and 3rd.
Tickets will surely sell out fast and can be bought online at www.theacademytheatre.org or in person at the box office.