This Tony-award winning musical examines the last days of Jesus Christ with a decidedly contemporary lens.
You’ll hear everything from soaring rock ballads to folksy love songs, and see how our modern interpretation of this centuries-old story resonates in today’s society.
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Jesus Christ Superstar is present through and exclusive arrangement with R & H Theatricals and Two Knights Rights Limited.
Justin Reeves (Jesus) is thrilled to be working once again with Fiddlehead Theatre, this time in the role that spawned his passion for musical theatre 13 years ago. Most recently seen on stage as the Tinman in Fiddlehead’s production of “The Wiz”, he has also been seen as Man 2 in Core Arts and Music’s production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (China tour) and Professor Callahan in Berklee College of Music’s “Legally Blonde”. Justin studied voice performance at Berklee College of Music and performs lead vocals in the Boston based rock band Mindwalk Blvd.
Devon Stone (Judas) is excited to make his Fiddlehead debut with one of his favorite musicals of all time. Past Credits include Hanschen in the National Tour of Spring Awakening, Gerald in Me and My Girl at the Reagle Music Theater, Skip in Life Could be a Dream at the Oregon Cabaret Theater and A Christmas Carol at the Hanover Theater. Devon has worked regionally across the county and on a number of NYC Workshops and Readings. He is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory.
Scott Caron (Mary Magdalene) Fiddlehead Theatre Company debut! Credits include: All Shook Up, The Fantasticks, 9 to 5: The Musical, Ransom of Red Chief (Mac-Haydn Theatre); Man of La Mancha, The Comedy of Errors, I Remember Mama (Monomoy Theatre); Company, Equus (Playhouse on Park); A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theater). Caron is a proud graduate of The Hartt School’s Music Theatre program. www.scottcaron.com
Katie Howe (Peter) is a NYC based actor originally from Smithfield, RI. This is her first show with Fiddlehead Theatre, and she is very grateful for the opportunity. Her most recent credits include off-broadway’s ‘Fancy Nancy’ and ‘Truffles: A murder mystery dinner experience’ both located in NYC. Up next for Katie is ‘Hello Dolly’ at Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre in New Orleans where she played Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’ last summer. Check out her work at www.KatieHowe.net.
Sam Forgie (Simon) is ecstatic for his Fiddlehead debut as Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar. He graduated from The Catholic University of America’s Musical Theatre program in 2012. Recent credits include Lord Farquaad in Shrek! The Musical at Prescott Park and various roles in the New England troupe of The Murder Mystery Company.
Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia (Pilate) is excited to return to the Fiddlehead stage, having performed before as part of the ensemble in The Wiz. And what better way to return than reprising one of his favorite roles! Other favorite credits include: The Emcee in Cabaret (Nashoba Players); The Balladeer/Lee H. Oswald in Assassins (Hovey Players); Antonio in Twelfth Night (Flyleaf Theater); The Boss in Side Show and Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar (Emerson Umbrella); Dr. Madden in Next to Normal (Marblehead Little Theatre).
Brian Bakofen (Caiaphas) returns to Fiddlehead after just finishing in The Wiz. As Caiaphas, Brian is excited to be ticking off a “dream role” from his rather long list of them – he played Peter in his first adult theater production 11 years ago. For past productions, he appeared as Peter in Moonbox Productions’ COMPANY last year. He has performed with The Footlight Club in The Wild Party (Lippa) as Eddie and SEUSSICAL as Bass Wickersham, as well as multiple other productions. Other favorite roles have included Smudge in Forever Plaid and Roger in A New Brain. Outside of the theater, he works as a primary care physician at Fenway Health.
Gene Dante (Herod) Gene recently appeared as Radames in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s hugely successful production of Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA. He also starred as Dionysus in The Bacchae at American Repertory Theater’s Oberon Nightclub. Previously at A.R.T. Gene appeared in both The Lily’s Revenge and The Rocky Horror Show (Brad Majors, Elliot Norton Award nomination). He also was the title role in the recent critically acclaimed New England Tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Previous roles include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Andrew Jackson), The Fantasticks (El Gallo), and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (The Beast), and several appearances in productions by Ryan Landry’s Gold Dust Orphans. Gene writes and performs original music with his band The Future Starlets. He is very stalkable. www.genedante.com | Twitter & Instagram @GeneDante
Janett “Becky” Bass (Ensemble), from St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, is delighted to perform for the second time with Fiddlehead Theatre Company. Tour: Yermedea (dir: Kym Moore). Favorite credits: A Night With Lady Day (Billie Holiday), Aida (Nehebka), Ophelia’s Cotillion (Gertrude), A Lady and A Woman (Miss Flora Devine), The Bluest Eye (Claudia). A 2013 graduate of Brown University in Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, Becky received Brown’s Weston Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. She also studied at the London Dramatic Academy under the direction of Richard Digby Day. She now performs solo as well as with Lion Eye Music and Natural Element in the Providence/Boston area as an award-winning, New England vocalist and steel pan artist.
Kristl Courtemanche (Ensemble) – Kristl began her 23 year “career” in theater in the Orchestra pit as a percussionist for the N.E.T.Works production of “Man of LaMancha” and later went on to perform various roles in the same show. Most recently, the show was resurrected by N.E.T.Works one last time, in which she played Aldonza alongside fellow cast member Anhony Rinaldi. Other roles over the years include the title role in “Cinderella“, Hope Harcourt in “Anything Goes“, Alice Sycamore in “You Can’t Take it With You”, Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and Little Buttercup in her junior high school production of “H.M.S. Pinnafore”. In addition to performance and musical accompaniment, Kristl has explored the technical side of theater as well, doing sound effects and lighting for various N.E.T.Works productions and stage managing the Mass Bay Community College production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying“.
Arthur Cuadros (Ensemble, Dance Captain) started his dance training at Lompoc school of dance and with Debbie Allen in Los Angles. After high school he trained with University North Carolina School of the arts and Alivn Aliey school of dance in New York City .Past show credits include: Little Matchstick Girl ,Petruchska ,La Cage Aux Folles,Joseph…..Dreamcoat,
Lydia Ruth Dawson (Ensemble) is excited to be making her Fiddlehead Theater debut! Recent credits include: Pinwheel! (Off-broadway), The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, All Shook Up, Light in the Piazza, and Songs for a New World. She has danced with the Grand Rapids Ballet, the Moscow Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet in NYC under the direction of Dorrell Martin. Hope College BFA. A Michigan native, Lydia now calls NYC home
Verona and Big Love (Emerson Stage), A Case Named Freud (Israeli Stage), and As You Like It (Emerson Shakespeare Society). Paul is a senior at Emerson College set to earn his B.A. in Theatre Studies later this month.
Steve Martin (Ensemble) – Steven is thrilled to perform again with Fiddlehead Theater! He holds a B.M in voice performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a M.M in opera performance from The Boston Conservatory. Roles of note: A Pint of Understanding (TV Co-Host), Up Where We Belong (Marvin Winans), A Little Princess (Djembe Drummer),Parade (Jim Conley), The Wild Party (Sam) Once on this Island (Agwe),L’Elisir d’Amore (Belcore), The Rape of Lucretia (Tarquinius), Die Fledermaus (Frank), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius). When not singing, Steven enjoys traveling, eating out, and exploring new areas of Boston.
BRYAN MINER (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his Fiddlehead Theatre Company debut! He was last seen in Boston as a ghoulish conquistador in The Addams Family (Stoneham Theatre). He’s had the pleasure of performing alongside Tony nominee Marc Kudisch and Kerry O’Malley in Kiss Me, Kate (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company) at The Hatch Shell. National Tours: The Wizard of Oz (Emerald City Guard/Henry), Skippyjon Jones (Alfredo Buzzito). Other favorite credits include: Twelfth Night (Malvolio), Rocky Horror Picture Show (Dr. Everette V. Scott) and Into The Woods (Steward) starring Rachel York. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory.
Kara Nelson (Ensemble) returns to Fiddlehead after having performed in The Wiz this past winter. She has also worked with North Shore Music Theatre, The Umbrella, Marblehead Little Theatre, and Theatre at the Mount, among others. Favorite past roles include Natalie in Next to Normal, Éponine in Les Misérables, The Mistress in Evita, Marcy Park in …Spelling Bee, and Liz (“Pop”) in Chicago. Kara is also a Performing Arts teacher, a Syracuse University graduate, and a state champion gymnast.
Carl-Michael Ogle (ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to the Strand Theatre in #JCSuperstar. He made his Boston debut with Fiddlehead as the Scarecrow in The Wiz. Nat’l Tour: Theatreworks USA’s The Yellow Brick Road (The Mountain Lion). Regional: Broadway Baby (an original one person show), Grease (Roger), J.C.Superstar (Simon), Blood Brothers (Sammy). Other credits include Titanic (Barrett), A Woman of No Importance (Gerald), A New Brain (Michael), Bartholomew Fair (Ezekiel), Parade (Young Soldier). BFA, New World School of the Arts. Proud AEA. www.carlmichaelogle.com
Alex Kirsten Paul (ensemble) originally from Oklahoma, is making her Massachusetts début in this production of Jesus Christ Superstar! Alex moved to Boston after graduating from Oklahoma City University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance. While studying at OCU, she was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, directed by Jo Rowan, where she performed in their annual shows: Home for the Holidays and Spring Show. After graduation, she got her first on film experience in a short film entitled “The Speed of Light” directed by Ben Gutierrez. In her spare time, Alex enjoys reading, painting, and listening to The Beatles.
Christopher Leon Pittman (Ensemble) is originally from East Dublin, Ga. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he is thrilled to be joining Fiddlehead again for this production. Christopher has been seen in The Wiz, A Chorus Line (Richie), A Little Princess (Head Man), Ragtime, Ryan Landry & the Gold Dust Orphans’ Mary Poppers, The Little Pricks, Peter Pansy, & Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Anthony Rinaldi (Ensemble) is honored to relive Andrew Lloyd Webber’s opus of Superstar with the formidable and wildly talented cast and crew at Fiddlehead Theatre Company! He would like to give thanks and much love to his family and friends who have supported him in every step of every show. Past shows include Man of la Mancha (Don Quixote), The Secret Garden (Dr. Neville Craven), Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson), Godspell (John the Baptist/Judas), A Little Night Music (Mr. Nordstrom), West Side Story (Chino), and Fiddlehead’s spectacle of The Wiz (Ensemble). He works in Cambridge as a Senior Associate Scientist researching methods to treat and/or prevent heart failure. “Take a deep breath of life, and consider how it should be lived…”
Ryoko Seta (Ensemble, Dance Captain) is a native of Yokohama, Japan. She is an accomplished singer, actor and dancer. Ryoko received a scholarship award from the London Royal Ballet School when she was 13 years old and still stands as the youngest recipient of the award. Her first professional role in a U.S. production was as an airport desk agent in Gus Van Sant’s soon-to-be-released film Sea of Trees. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business and Management. She has been a proud member of SAG-AFTRA since 2014.
Gigi Watson (Ensemble) – Fiddlehead debut! Regional credits include Meet Me in St. Louis (Stoneham Theatre), Macbeth (Brown Box Theatre Project), Coriolanus (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Richard II (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Apprentice Co.), Prometheus Bound (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Apprentice Co.), and Café Variations (ArtsEmerson/SITI Company). Credits with Emerson Stage at Emerson College include Fefu and Her Friends (Fefu), Big Love (Thyona), The Grapes of Wrath (Mrs. Wainwright), and The Hallway Trilogy: Paraffin/Nursing (Margo). BFA Musical Theatre, Emerson College. www.gigiwatson.com
After a foreboding instrumental opening number(the “Overture”), the apostle Judas Iscariot expresses in a musical monologue his concern over Jesus’s rising popularity as a “king” and the negative repercussions that will have. He strongly criticizes Jesus for accepting his followers’s unrealistic views, and for not heeding his concerns, in “(Too Much) Heaven On Their Minds.” While Judas still loves Jesus, he believes that Jesus is just a man, not God, and worries that Jesus’s following will be seen as a threat to the Roman Empire which would then punish both Jesus and his associates. Judas’s warning falls on deaf ears, as Jesus’s followers have their minds set on going to Jerusalem with Jesus. As they ask Jesus when they will be going to Jerusalem, Jesus tells them to stop worrying about the future, since whatever will happen is determined by God; “What’s The Buzz?” depicts their argument.
Recognizing that Jesus is irritated by the badgering and lack of understanding from his followers, Mary “Magdalene” (of Magdala) tries to help Jesus relax. Judas is concerned that Jesus is associating with Mary, who is presented (implicitly) as a prostitute in the musical. It seems to Judas that Jesus is contradicting his own teaching, and he worries that this apparent lack of judgment will be used against Jesus and his followers in “Strange Thing Mystifying.” Jesus tells Judas that Mary is with him (Jesus) now, and unless Judas is without sin he should not judge the character of others. Jesus then reproaches his apostles for being “shallow, thick and slow” and somewhat bitterly answers that not a single one of them cares about him. Mary Magdalene tries to assure Jesus that “Everything’s Alright” while anointing him with oil. Judas angrily insists that the money used to obtain the oil should have been used to help the poor instead. Jesus sadly explains that he and his followers do not have the resources to alleviate poverty and that they should be glad for the privileges they have. He claims that once his followers no longer have him, they will lose their path.
Meanwhile, Caiaphas (the high priest), Annas, and other Jewish priests (who have been studying Jesus’s movements) meet to discuss Jesus and his disciples. Jesus’s growing following consists of Jews unwilling to accept the Romans as their rulers, and the priests believe that Jesus may become seen as a threat to the priesthood’s integrity and the Roman Empire. If the Romans retaliate, many Jews will suffer, even those who are not following Jesus. Caiaphas tells them they are “fools” for not seeing the inevitable consequence of Jesus’s activities. He believes there could be great bloodshed and the stakes are “frighteningly high!” For the greater good, he has to “crush him completely! So like John before him, this Jesus must die!” Annas and the other priests concur; “This Jesus Must Die!” As Jesus and his followers arrive exultantly in Jerusalem to “Hosanna,” they are confronted by Caiaphas, who demands that Jesus disband them, which Jesus says would be futile and change nothing. As the crowd cheers him on, Caiaphas suddenly asks, “Hey JC, JC, won’t you die for me?” To this, Jesus visibly reacts with concern. Jesus is approached by Simon the Zealot, who suggests that Jesus lead his mob in a war against Rome and gain absolute power, as depicted in “Simon Zealotes.” Jesus rejects this suggestion, stating in “Poor Jerusalem” that none of his followers understand what true power is, nor do they understand his true message.
Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, has had a dream, which he recounts in “Pilate’s Dream,” in which he meets with a Galilean (Jesus) and that he, Pilate, will receive all of the blame for the man’s violent and mournful death. Jesus arrives at the Temple in Jerusalem and finds that it has become a haven of sin and debauchery as it is being used for selling everything from weapons to prostitutes and drugs. He is furious and demands that the merchants and money changers leave “The Temple.” Angry, disconsolate, and tired by his burden, Jesus rests and falls asleep. In a chilling nightmare, he is confronted by lepers, cripples, and beggars, all wanting to be healed. Even though he heals some, their number increases, and he is overwhelmed. Unable to solve everyone’s problems, Jesus tells the crowd to heal themselves. He awakes to find Mary Magdalene by his side. She lays him to rest, reprising “Everything’s Alright” as she does this. While Jesus is asleep, Mary acknowledges that she is unconditionally in love with Jesus, unlike any man she has known before, and it frightens her; she confesses, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”
Judas gradually becomes more and more envious of Mary; he believes she has usurped him as Jesus’s most trusted ally and that he prefers her to his Apostles. Conflicted, Judas seeks out the priests and promises to help them capture Jesus, while belaboring that he is acting with unselfish motives and that Jesus himself would approve if he knew those motives; he bids the priests not declare him “Damned for All Time.” Caiaphas demands that Judas reveal the location of Jesus so that the authorities can apprehend him. In exchange for the information, Judas is offered money as a “fee” so that he can assuage his conscience by using the “Blood Money” charitably. Judas decides that it would be better to turn Jesus in before his popularity leads to the deaths of Jesus and his followers, Judas included. He reveals that on Thursday night, Jesus will be at the Garden of Gethsemane.
At what Jesus knows will be “The Last Supper,” he pours wine and passes bread for his apostles. Very aware of the ordeal he faces, he is stung when the others pay little attention to him; “For all you care this wine could be my blood / For all you care this bread could be my body,” he remarks, alluding to (and anticipating) the Christian doctrine of the Eucharist. He asks them to remember him when they eat and drink; he predicts that Peter will deny him three times “in just a few hours” and that one of them will betray him. Judas, believing that Jesus already knows (“cut the dramatics, you know very well who”), admits he is the one and angrily accuses Jesus of acting recklessly and egotistically. Claiming he does not understand Jesus’s decisions, he leaves to bring the Roman soldiers.
The remaining apostles fall asleep, and Jesus retreats to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, a prayer that makes up “Gethesemane (I Only Want To Say).” He admits to God his doubts, fears and anger, that he is tired and has done all he can. He asks powerfully if any of it has meaning and implores God not let him suffer the horrible death that portends for him. He feels disillusioned with his quest as the Messiah, does not understand what it has achieved and wishes to give up. Receiving no answer, Jesus realizes that he cannot defy God’s will, and surrenders to God. His prayer ends with a request that God take him immediately, “before I change my mind.”
Judas arrives with Roman soldiers and identifies Jesus by kissing him on the cheek to begin “The Arrest.” Jesus is arrested, and his apostles attempt to fight the soldiers. Jesus tells them to let the soldiers take him to Caiaphas. On the way, a mob (acting like—and sometimes represented as—modern-day news reporters) asks Jesus what he plans to do, but Jesus declines to comment. When Jesus is brought to trial before the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas asks if he is the son of God. Jesus responds: “That’s what you say, you say that I am.” This answer is affirmative according to Jewish custom, and that provides enough justification for the high priests to send Jesus to Pontius Pilate. Meanwhile, Jesus’s apostle Peter is confronted by an old man, a soldier and a maid, and Peter denies to each that he knows Jesus, of which “Peter’s Denial” consists. Mary asks Peter why he denied Jesus, and Peter responds that he had to do it in order to save himself. Mary wonders how Jesus knew that Peter would deny him three times.
“Pilate and Christ” follows; at its beginning, Pilate asks Jesus if he is the son of God. Jesus gives the same answer that he gave Caiaphas: “that’s what you say.” Since Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate says that he is not under his jurisdiction and sends him to King Herod. As Jesus is dragged away, the chorus asks, in a “Hosanna Reprise,” where Jesus’s power has gone. In a mocking ragtime number called “King Herod’s Song (Try It And See),” the decadent and flamboyant King Herod asks Jesus to prove his divinity by performing miracles, offering to free him if he complies; but Jesus ignores him. Herod decides that Jesus is just another phony messiah and angrily sends him back to Pilate. The apostles and Mary Magdalene remember when they first began following Jesus, and wish that they could return to a time of peace, asking “Could We Start Again, Please?”
Judas is horrified upon beholding Jesus’s harsh treatment by the authorities. Feeling extreme guilt for this, and panicking that he will be seen as responsible, Judas expresses regret to the priests, fearing he will forever be remembered as a traitor. Caiaphas and Annas say that what he has done will save everyone and that he should not feel remorse for his actions before throwing him out of their temple. Left alone, recognition dawns that memories of this could haunt the rest of his life, that God chose him to be the one to betray Jesus, and that he has been used as a pawn for the “foul bloody crime!” He suffers a mental breakdown during the epiphany, cursing God for his manipulative ways, and in a final attempt to detach himself from his destiny, he commits suicide by hanging himself from a tree. This leads to “Judas’s Death.”
At Jesus’s “Trial Before Pilate, Including The Thirty-Nine Lashes,” Pilate asks the crowd if they would crucify Jesus, their king, and they declare: “We have no king but Caesar!” Pilate remembers the dream he had about the crowd and the unjust execution of Jesus, as an instrumental version of “Pilate’s Dream” plays. Pilate tells the crowd that, while Jesus should be imprisoned, he does not deserve to die. Pilate demands that the crowd give him a reason to condemn Jesus, and the crowd breaks into a pep rally-style cheer about how Jesus is a blasphemer and has defied Rome. After revealing Jesus as nothing more than a pathetic human being(“Behold the man!”), Pilate calls the crowd hypocrites, as he knows they hate Roman rule. He attempts to satisfy their bloodlust by having Jesus whipped, counting thirty-nine bloody strokes. Pilate, clearly disturbed by the whole ordeal, pleads with Jesus to defend himself; but Jesus says weakly that everything has been determined, by God, and Pilate cannot change it. The crowd still screams for Jesus to be crucified, and Pilate recalls his duty to keep the peace. He reluctantly agrees to crucify Jesus to keep the crowd from getting violent. Pilate then washes his hands of Jesus’ death: “I wash my hands of your demolition! Die if you want to, you–innocent puppet….”
As Jesus prepares to be crucified, he is mocked by a vision of Judas. Judas questions why Jesus chose to arrive in the manner and time that he did, and if what happened to him was really part of a divine plan, but Jesus does not say at any time during “Superstar.” As Jesus is nailed to the cross in “The Crucifixion,” some productions opt to show Judas suffering a stigmata-like effect, indicating that he is paying for his sin. After reciting his final words and commending his spirit to God, Jesus slowly dies on the cross, his fate coming full circle. The final instrumental number, “John Nineteen: Forty-One,” shows the Apostles, Mary and Judas mourning the death of their fallen savior, reflecting on the impact he has had on their lives.
Wikipedia link to Jesus Christ Superstar