The Hopkinton Middle School drama club will present the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" this weekend at the middle school auditorium, 88 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton.
Shows will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (May 2-3) and 2 p.m. on Sunday (May 4). Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.
One hundred students are in the show: 70 as performers, 30 as crew, said Director Hallyann Gifford. They have been rehearsing since February for the show, which marks the first time that Hopkinton Middle students have performed a rock opera, she said.
Like the school’s acclaimed fall show, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," this rock opera is about faith and hope in the face of oppression and evil, Gifford said. “Together, they create a theme for this whole year: faith, hope and love. I think they complement each other well.”
Gifford, who once portrayed Mary Magdalene, “I’ve always loved the show. It’s an incredibly powerful piece that manages to put electricity into an ancient but timeless story.”
Although "Jesus Christ Superstar" is about the central figure of Christianity, the show has been performed before in public schools, as it emphasizes historical events, not religion, Gifford said.
“It’s documenting one of the greatest stories in human history and the life of someone pretty much everyone on the planet has heard of, whether or not they are Christian. It’s part of our shared human experience,” she said.
“Thematically, I am hoping that they (the cast and crew) learn about the struggles that these characters faced and how they each reacted to the situations at hand, and how the choices they made influenced not only what happened but what happened then inside each person: the choice Jesus makes to sacrifice himself, the choice Judas makes to betray him, the choice Mary Magdalene makes to stand by him, and all the choices the others make for their own. Ultimately these people as a group made the choice to stand up against a larger oppression -- and to begin a new way of thinking, a new way of living, and all of it based not on hate, but on love,” Gifford said.
Performers include Matt Fliegauf as Jesus, Dan Potapov as Judas, Galen Graham as Pontius Pilate and Brittany Forsmo as Mary Magdalene. Also, AJ Waltzman as Peter, Lucy Medeiros as Peter’s wife, Ian Holmes as Simon Zealotes, Sarah Moschini as Simon’s wife, Zach Ritterbusch as John, and Kaila Goldstein as John’s wife.
The high priests are Matthew Dempsey as Caiaphas, and Lauren Tompkins as Annas. Max Siegfried is Maximilian the Pharisee, and Sam McAuliffe is King Herod.
The show will last approximately two and one-half hours, with intermission.
Submitted by Jennifer Graham.