MCC Music Students Find Jesus Christ Superstar Challenging
(Bradenton, Fla., Oct. 18, 2005) - Manatee Community College (MCC) student Kevin Rose has stage experience in community theatres like the Players Theatre. However, he's finding the role of Jesus in the college's upcoming production of the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, a definite challenge.
"This role is the most vocally challenging I have ever had. I have to sing very high notes, again and again. But it's great music," said Rose.
The 20-year-old Booker High School graduate adds that he believes the play about the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, considered daring when it premiered in 1971, is still controversial. The play was made into an award-winning film in 1973. Told through the eyes of Judas Escariot, it stirs conflicting emotions because it "makes Judas a sympathetic character" in Rose's view.
Nineteen-year-old Charles McKenzie, a graduate of the private West Coast School in Sarasota, plays the role of Judas. His theatre experience includes roles at The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. McKenzie said it's the first time he's been in a show "where there is no speaking" but he relishes the opportunity to do a rock opera, a rarity in MCC performing history.
Other key performers are Megan Wintersteen, as Mary Magdalene, and Cole Dodds, as Pontius Pilate. They are both 20 years old. A graduate of Lakewood Ranch High School, Wintersteen has done tap, jazz dancing and modeling, and plans to pursue a vocal performance major. Originally from England, Dodds is a Riverview High School graduate who said the rock music aspects of the musical are particularly challenging as he integrates them with his classical voice training.
Melodie Dickerson Guinta, coordinator of choral/vocal studies, directs the production and Marc P. Mannino, music program manager, directs the music. Other production team members are Lynee Price, assistant director; Allison Norton, choreographer; Jan Van Wart, set and light design; and Sheri Barker, costumes.
The play will be performed at 8 p.m., Oct. 28 and 29, and 2 p.m., Oct. 30, in Neel Performing Arts Center, located off 26th Street at 60th Avenue West, MCC Bradenton.
General admission is $12. Tickets are $6 for MCC students and staff. Call the Neel Performing Arts Center Box Office at (941) 752-5252.