If the wintry weather has one stuck inside the house, never fear local theater is here to cure the community of its epidemic cabin fever.
John David Welch portrays the role of Jesus and is music director for "Jesus Christ Superstar" at the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts. (Submitted)
Some of Broadway’s best shows are coming to town, like the Center for the Arts’ performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and Murfreesboro Little Theatre’s “Company.” Arts Center of Cannon County and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center jump into the mix with recent hits “9 to 5, The Musical” and “American Idiot.”
‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
Based on the strength of rehearsals, the Center for the Arts decided to open “Jesus Christ Superstar” a week earlier than originally scheduled.
“The cast and crew have created such a powerful production that it was agreed that we should open early to give audiences more chances to see this show through the Easter season,” producer Andrew Oppmann said. “We are excited that the Center added shows to our run based on the strength of our rehearsals.”
The musical, directed by award-winning stage veteran Renee Robinson and starring John David Welch in the title role, will open Friday and be featured for four weekends. Shows are set for 7:30 Friday and Saturday evenings and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Easter Sunday, March 31.
The show has been a labor of love for Robinson, whose infatuation with the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber began in her teenage years.
“I’m very excited to get the chance to do this, Robinson said. “It has been one of my dream shows to direct.”
As director, Robinson can leave her own imprint on the Broadway classic, which is drawn from the Gospels’ accounts of the week leading to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. She said her goal is to make the Murfreesboro production uplifting and respectful.
“Strength is the one thing I want to audience to see,” she said. “Jesus is very steady because, in the beginning, he knows exactly where he’s going to go and where he’s going to be.”
The surprise of the Murfreesboro production, she said, will be the resurrection, which was not in the musical’s original script.
“I wanted to add that to revitalize the audience,” Robinson said. “It’s such a tragic ending that I wanted to give it one more punch. The way we’ve got this ended, I think, there’s no way to be anything but excited and happy.”
Tickets can be purchased at the Center’s box office at 110 W. College St. or by calling the Center at 615-904-2787. Prices are $15 for adults; $13 for seniors (60 and older), students (ages 12 to 18 or with valid student ID and military; and $11 for children under 12. Group seating options and discounts are available.
The next best musical in town is Murfreesboro Little Theatre’s production of “Company.”
MLT describes “Company” as “intelligent, funny, tragic, adult and hip. It’s brassy, bossy, sympathetic, romantic and cynical” and “more than just another Broadway musical.”
“Company” takes the stage at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Friday, March 8-Sunday, March 24. MLT is located at 702 Ewing Blvd.
The musical comedy revolves around Robert, a 35-year-old, single man living in New York City, five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends.
In 1971, it swept the TONY Awards, taking home seven trophies, including best musical and outstanding music and lyrics for writer Stephen Sondheim.
Tickets can be purchased online at mltarts.com or by phone at 615-893-9825.
‘9 to 5, The Musical’
The adaption of the 1980 film “9 to 5” takes the stage at the Arts Center of Cannon County Friday night.
The Tony and Grammy-nominated show, featuring music and lyrics by Dolly Parton “is full of laughter and side-splitting Southern sass,” Arts Center spokeswoman Carol Reed said in a press release.
Directed by Dr. Darryl Deason with music direction by Robert Hiers and choreography by Lauren Johnson, 9 to 5 follows three unlikely friends who concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss.
The show goes on at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets are $15 with discounts available for students, seniors and groups and may be purchased by calling the Arts Center box office at 615-563-(ARTS) 2787 or 1-800-235-9073. Tickets may also be purchased online at artscenterofcc.com. “The Blue Porch @ Arts Center” restaurant is open before all performances.
The Arts Center is located on 1424 John Bragg Highway in Woodbury.
The national tour of the explosive Broadway hit “American Idiot” makes its Nashville premiere Tuesday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall.
“American Idiot,” a Tony Award-nominated and Grammy Award winner, features the music of the band Green Day with the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong.
“While Green Day fans of all ages will love this rock opera based on the band’s 2004 concept album, there is a lot here for fans and followers of the evolving world of Broadway and musical theatre,” said Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer. “The artful social commentary, the sensational staging, and high energy rock music make this untraditional Broadway smash the perfect fit for Music City.”
“American Idiot” is the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post-9/11 world.
The musical features songs from Green Day’s 2004 Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album.
Tickets are on sale at tpac.org, by phone at 615-782-4040, and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville. Students may purchase tickets in the orchestra pit for only $25 while supply lasts at the TPAC box office only.