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Toerien’s Superstar off to Greece August 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Stage & Theater.

Pieter Toerien’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, running at the Theatre on the Bay until Sunday, is going to be staged in Athens immediately after Easter in 2007.

Toerien said the production would run in the Greek capital for six weeks. And then?

“Well, you never know,” the delighted impresario said. “As we have found with our previous tours, word gets around …”

He said the Greek promoters had read about the hit production, directed by Paul Warwick Griffin with musical direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, on the Internet, and negotiations proceeded from there. Griffin went to Athens to check out the theatre and other aspects of the coming tour and gave it his approval.

Griffin knows this Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical intimately. In Artscape’s production by the late David Matheson in the 1990s he alternated in the roles of Christ and Judas, sharing the dual roles with Glenn Swart.

Toerien confirmed that the current principals would be available for the Athens tour: Cito (Christ), Robert Finlayson (Judas Iscariot), as well as Anton Luitingh (Pontius Pilate), Rowan Cloete (Herod), Candida Mosoma (Mary Magdelene), Graham Bourne (Caiaphas) and Timothy Bull (Annas).

Toerien expects that most of the remainder of the large cast would join the Athens tour, but there were bound to be those who had already made other arrangements and would have to be replaced.

Design is by Cape Town veteran designer Keith Anderson. Choreography is by Tim le Roux.

Jesus Christ Superstar deals with the last week in Christ’s life, building up to his crucifixion. The musical first opened in London in the 1970s. When I first saw it in 1978, South African singer Marloe Scott-Wilson, later to return home and become known as the Pink Lady, sang the role of Mary Magdelene.

The play is the third big musical Toerien will be sending overseas. First to tour was his production of Cats, which toured to Scandinavia, the Far East and played in the now partly devastated Beirut, Lebanon.

Next was The Phantom of the Opera, which ends its touring days in Hong Kong this coming weekend.

Toerien has another big musical bubbling under: a revival of Hair, which will go on the boards in the Montecasino Theatre in March.

Toerien also confirmed that a production of Sunset Boulevard remained on the back burner. 

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