North Central puts ‘Superstar’ on stage
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media June 28, 2013 5:45PM
NCC is presenting “Jesus Christ Superstar.” | Submitted photo
♦ June 28-30 and July 5-7
♦ Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville
♦ Tickets, $10-$15
♦ (630) 637-7469
One of the most powerful rock operas of all time will be performed in Naperville.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” runs for six performances staged at 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 29 and July 5 and 6 and at 2 p.m. June 30 and July 7 at North Central College.
Susan Craig-Olsen of Naperville serves as the choreographer and director of the production.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” became a smash hit Broadway musical in its 1971 debut. Both critically and publicly acclaimed, it received five Tony Award nominations in 1972, including Best Original Score.
Audiences should expect to see a rock concert-inspired production with full lights, sets and costumes, live orchestra and a cast of 65, she said. The cast includes area residents as well as more than two dozen North Central students and alumni.
North Central alum Max DeTogne, 22, of Naperville, has the titular role.
It’s a little overwhelming having all eyes on him, but he’s ready for it, he said. He was familiar with the show, having played the role of Peter in a previous production.
“So I go from denying him to being him,” he said.
The songs in “Jesus Christ Superstar” are challenging, and not your typical summer musical fare.
“We’ve been working with the musical director for weeks, trying to map out these cool rock riffs and all these fun and powerful vocalizations to really bring out our originality as well as the music the composer has written,” he said. “So we’ve been working to tighten the songs and make them as powerful and clean as possible. There are a lot of rock riffs and rock screams. It’s one of the most powerful shows I’ve even been in.”
Despite of — or maybe because of — being a rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar” remains an extremely popular show.
“It’s so different, and it’s so daring that they would tell this story in this particular way,” he said. “Especially our adaptation of it — it’s so gritty. I think it will really resonate with the audience and really affect them. It’s a fun show, and it’s really upbeat.”
People should expect to hear incredible voices and see a compelling story, he said.
“We all know how the story ends, so be prepared for a pretty emotional ending,” he said. “There are a lot of different references to stories in the Bible that we try to bring in that aren’t necessarily in the script but that Suzy, our director, has gone out of her way to incorporate to bring more of the magic and more of the mystery to the story as well.”