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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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“Jesus Christ Superstar” in Concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. from Dec. 1-3 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4. “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. from Dec. 1-3 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert

More than 100 performers will take the stage in this explosive production.
By Graciella Regua

The San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television and Film, in collaboration with the SDSU School of Music and Dance, will “rock” the Don Powell Theatre like never before with the upcoming production of “Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert."

The production combines the talents of musical theatre graduate students, theatre arts undergraduates, a full choir, orchestra and rock ensembles, and an incredible lighting and projection team, for an unforgettable, psychedelic rock experience.

Wowing audiences for 40 years

Debuting in 1970, “Jesus Christ Superstar” tells the story of the last week of Jesus’ life, uniquely told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot. The show centers on the celebrity of Jesus, comparing it to the rise of superstar bands of the 1960s, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Director Stephen Brotebeck believes the story is much more than a history lesson.

“It’s a metaphor for fame and the power of it,” Brotebeck said. “It’s about how high you can climb in fame and how quickly you can fall.”

Music director Robert Meffe identified the power of the story as it relates to 2016.

“This is something that is completely relevant to this time,” Meffe said. “Religion and politics are as pertinent now as they were then.”

Following another concert success

“Jesus Christ Superstar” follows in the footsteps of the highly successful “Les Misérables in Concert" production from fall 2014, which also brought the two performing schools together.

“Robert and I wanted to recreate that experience from ‘Les Misérables’ and expand upon it,” Brotebeck said. “As ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was originally conceived as an album with an orchestra before being brought to life on stage, it seemed very natural to do it as a symphonic concert with the choir and orchestra. It will hopefully be a great follow-up.”

Meffe, who originally conceived the idea for SDSU’s “Les Misérables,” sees large-scale productions like these as an important rarity.

"It’s the kind of thing that only San Diego State University could pull off,” Meffe said. “We have enormous forces that make this happen. You just don’t get to hear a 65-piece symphony orchestra with a rock band and chorus elsewhere. This is a once-in-a-lifetime gift for the people on stage and in the audience."

Messages of fear and hope

Meffe believes that “Jesus Christ Superstar” has two prominent themes: fear and hope.

“Certainly with today’s polarized society, a lot of decisions we make in our lives are based on fear,” Meffe said. “Everyone in this story is afraid, and the voice of their fear is portrayed through the heavy rock music. But there are glimmers of hope in this show, too. Those themes of fear and hope will always be relevant because it’s just as human to fear as it is to love.”

Tickets and information

“Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert” will run for four performances, Dec. 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m., in SDSU’s Don Powell Theatre. General admission tickets are $20, and tickets for students, seniors and active military are $15. Tickets can be purchased at