The Production Company’s Jesus Christ has earned its Superstar status
What’s the Buzz? The Production Company’s second show of 2017 is nothing short of a miraculous spectacle bringing a completely modern take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.
Arguably the most beloved and well-known rock opera of all time, mounting a production of Jesus Christ Superstar is not for the faint hearted. And there is only one company which would endeavour to do it on its customary two weeks of rehearsals. Yet, seeing The Production Company’s modern reimagining of this classic rock opera, there is no way you would ever know that this whole event was brought together in such a short period of time.
Rob Mills makes a holy debut with the company in the title role of Jesus. The role of Jesus almost takes a secondary role in the first half of the musical to the betraying Judas Iscariot, but come his number at the beginning of Act 2 – Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) – Rob Mills proves why he is worthy of this leading man title he has earnt himself through many of Melbourne’s huge productions. An impressive falsetto and powerful rock belt allow him to explore the whole range of the character and this will no doubt be a defining moment in his career solidifying him as a serious musical theatre performer.
Production Company favourite, Alinta Chidzey, shines in the role of Mary Magdalene providing the audience with a clear understanding of why Jesus would fall for this unlikely lover especially when she leads the Apostles and Disciples through the well-known Everything’s Alright. But she is also supported by a cast of seriously talented performers. While Andrew Cook and Mike Snell both get moments in the spotlight to shine, each member of this ensemble contributes to a highly detailed story at the direction of Gale Edwards.
Trevor Ashley has a star-turn as the King of Galilee, Herod, flashing neon sign and all. But the stand out performance of the show is Zoy Frangos. Tasked with taking a character who we all innately dislike and providing some justification for his actions, Zoy catapults the action through the first act wracked with torment about betraying his close friend before coming unraveled in an untimely end. His performance in the eleven o’clock number Superstar is a clear highlight of the night.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals are renowned for their spectacle. Taking the impossible and putting it on stage in a lavish and textured reimagining. The Production Company is known for quite the opposite. Rather than relying on spectacular staging and theatrics, this company highlights the spectacular talent that can be found across Australia. Yet, their latest production of Jesus Christ Superstar, although taking place on a rather static set, has woven together moments of spectacle from both the performers and the scenery at the hands of Dan Potra and Trent Suidgeest worthy of this Andrew Lloyd Webber tome.
Although they have been delivering on their mission of providing incredible shows in the Melbourne theatre landscape for many years, The Production Company is solidifying itself as an incredible powerhouse within the Australian theatre landscape. Their performance of Dusty left the state and continued to Adelaide and this current production is receiving holy buzz that it should head out on tour around the country. There is something special about their model bringing together some of the best performers from around the country and creating spectacular pieces of theatre which need to be seen to be believed.
Jesus Christ Superstar has already extended its season and must close on August 13. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.artscentremelbourne.com.au