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"Jesus Christ Superstar" Begins Saturday At Bay Shore Lutheran Church

April 13, 2011

Bay Shore Lutheran Church’s production of the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the church’s Sanctuary. Director Robb Smith, a seasoned theater professional, thinks the show will be especially powerful.

Although the Palm Sunday service is sold out, tickets are still available for performances on April 21, Maundy Thursday, and April 22, Good Friday, in addition to the performance this coming Saturday, April 16.

“I seriously would put this production, the band, the cast and the sound up to any theater production in town,” said Smith, a professional actor and director and a member of Bay Shore Lutheran, 1200 E. Hampton Rd., Whitefish Bay. His wife, Laura Anderle-Smith, the theater director at Nathan Hale High School and also a member of Bay Shore, is assistant director.

Robb Smith, who will be directing Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at the Waukesha Civic Theater in May, believes the cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar” is exceptionally strong. Smith played one of the lead roles, Dick Deadeye, in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” at the Skylight Opera Theater last fall.

“A number of people in the (Bay Shore) cast could walk on a stage anywhere as vocal performers,” he said. “We encouraged people to bring their A game and they have.”

The cast was chosen after open auditions from members of Bay Shore and others in the community at large.

Although the musical was controversial when first staged on Broadway in 1971, Smith says he simply wants to put on a solid production and let the audience draw its own conclusions.

“My goal has been to try to produce it as evenly as possible,” he said. Doing so required that even Caiaphas and the other Jewish priests who plotted against Christ be portrayed in a way that they sincerely believed they were doing the right thing for their people, Smith said.

Tickets for the 2 p.m. show on Saturday April 16 as well as the shows at 7 p.m. Thursday April 21 (Maundy Thursday) and 7 p.m. Friday April 22 (Good Friday) may be reserved by calling the church at (414) 332-6436 or by e-mail, bayshoreelca@yahoo.com. Tickets for the Saturday performance are $5. There is no charge for the April 21 and April 22 performances but free will donations will be accepted.

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