Jesus Christ Superstar

CCM Mainstage Series presents “Jesus Christ Superstar” now through March 4 at the Patricia Corbett Theatre.

“What’s the buzz” over at the Patricia Corbett Theatre now through March 4? CCM’s musical theatre department presents “Jesus Christ Superstar” as their second mainstage musical of the 2017-18 season. The show features an electric rock concert-like score composed by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. “Superstar” loosely tells the story of Jesus’ last days and his relationship with Judas Iscariot.

The Lloyd Webber and Rice musical is what’s known as a rock opera — it is completely sung and has no spoken dialogue. The approximately two-hour production was so intensely engaging, it seemed to last only minutes.

Like most CCM productions, between the phenomenal talent on the stage and the incredible behind-the-scenes work from the technical students, you feel like you are seeing a Broadway show. It can be hard to believe the cast is comprised of college students.

For a large portion of the cast, this performance is their last on the CCM stage. The production included the whole senior class for a final hoorah — it’s quite a show to mark the end of their undergraduate careers. “Superstar” was a perfect choice to showcase the students’ incredible triple threat abilities.

Senior Stavros Koumbaros goes out with a bang, starring as Jesus. The role is extremely demanding, yet you never see Koumbaros falter or tire. His vocal range and chemistry with all the other performers onstage is astonishing.

Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrays Jesus and the second male lead, is played by junior Alex Stone. He opens the show and sets the story with his concerns about Jesus’ rising fame, repercussions of it and his sudden relationship with Mary Magdalene. Stone is a vocal beast and is captivating to watch onstage.

Playing Mary Magdalene is senior Ciara Alyse Harris. She possesses such a sweetness and calmness in contrast to the chaos happening onstage. Harris beautifully sings two hits — “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Can We Start Again Please” — the latter of which is a duet with fellow senior and standout performer Christopher Kelley as the apostle Peter.

Other standout performers include EJ Dohring as Simon, who briefly stopped the show with his solo “Simon Zealotes,” and Derek Kastener as King Herod, who left the audience in stitches with his Act II comedic tap number.

The entire cast has amazing energy and they nail every number. Between the fun and modern choreography, the staging with the rustic playground of a set and the modern clothing, the biblical story felt more accessible, understandable and relatable for contemporary generations.

By the end of the show, the entire audience will be begging to “start again, please.” Don’t miss your chance to see the amazing talent in “Jesus Christ Superstar” now through March 4 at the Patricia Corbett Theatre.

Editor-in-Chief

Anne Simendinger has been with The News Record since 2017 as a staff reporter, digital producer, and life and arts editor. She is the Cincinnati senior editor for BroadwayWorld and the Scripps Howard Communication Intern for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.