La Jolla's 'Superstar' cast same as Stratford's, minus Brent Carver
The actors playing Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene all will be onstage again, but Broadway veteran Brent Carver will be AWOL as Pontius Pilate when the La Jolla Playhouse reprises the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's hit production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" later this month.
The playhouse has announced casting for Des McAnuff's critically praised, Broadway-bound version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical, which gave the world its first rock 'n' roll Messiah. Paul Nolan will be Jesus, Chilina Kennedy once more will portray Mary Magdalene and Josh Young will again take on the part of what Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones described as a "sexy, well-made-up Judas" with "a dangerous, if somewhat campy, air."
But Carver, a longtime Stratford regular who also starred on Broadway in the musical "Kiss of the Spider Woman," has washed his hands of the role of Pontius Pilate, at least for the time being. In an e-mail Monday afternoon, a La Jolla publicist told Culture Monster: "Brent Carver will not be part of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar at La Jolla Playhouse because he requires vocal rest."
The La Jolla production will mark the latest homecoming for McAnuff, who served as the playhouse's artistic director for several years until leaving in the early 1990s to pursue other film and theater projects.
-- Reed Johnson
Photo: Paul Nolan portrays Jesus in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical "Jesus Christ Superstar," opening this month at the La Jolla Playhouse. Credit: Associated Press / Stratford Shakespeare Festival / David Hou