[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   




Feb. 24, 2005

                                                                                                            Contact: Katie Lee



Catholic University to Stage “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Rock Opera Depicts Last 7 Days in the Life of Christ


Catholic University will stage the box office hit “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a rock opera about the betrayal of Jesus in the last week of his life — March 11, 12 and 13 at Hartke Theatre.


The CUA performances, which include a cast of 64 students, are at 8 p.m. Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13. Jane Pesci-Townsend is director; N. Thomas Pedersen is music director. Members of the CUA Symphony Orchestra will perform the music. Lisa Vivo, whose credits include shows at the Olney Theatre Center and Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is the choreographer.


The cast of the CUA production includes seniors Brian Cali as Jesus and Patrick Curran as Judas and junior Tarina Szemzo as Mary Magdalene.


The CUA staging of the opera falls just two weeks before Easter and several of its scenes depict events in the days just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion and death: his befriending of Mary Magdalene, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Last Supper. The opera is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus who ultimately betrayed him.


“The story of the last few days of Jesus’ life is the greatest story ever told,” says director Pesci-Townsend, who is chair of the Department of Musical Theatre at CUA’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. “One of the wonderful things about “Jesus Christ Superstar” is that it brings this story out of the toga era and makes us think about how it relates to our lives today.”


The opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City on Oct. 12, 1971. The production became a box office hit and ran for 720 performances. Following its successful opening, several of the opera’s memorable songs, which include “Superstar,” “Hosannah” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” quickly became hits.  


Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and senior citizens. For ticket information, call 202-319-5416.


MEDIA: To cover the production, contact Katie Lee in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.





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Revised: 2/25/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.