On Stage: CLOG goes biblical with its first-ever production of "Jesus Christ Superstar"

Promotional poster for the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (Courtesy CLOG)

Originally conceived as a concept album in 1970, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Jesus Christ Superstar" has evolved into a worldwide phenomenom.

Staged on Broadway the year after its debut, the rock opera has been performed countless times for more than four decades.

"The whole story of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' is really told through the eyes of Judas," Christopher Conard (Judas Iscariot) said. "He's just not happy with Jesus. He sees his friend, someone he loves, someone he cares for you know, going down a path that he just doesn't agree with and he's clashing with that."

It's loosely based on the four gospels of the New Testament, focusing on the last week of Jesus' life.

"That's kind of what the gospels are all about, is asking the audience to judge Jesus," Kenny Harbolt (Pontius Pilate) said. "And no other musical does it better than 'Jesus Christ Superstar' of asking the audience who do you think Jesus is?"

This is the first time the Charleston Light Opera Guild has performed the show. However, the production is very familiar to its star. Ryan Hardiman plays the title role. It's the fourth time he's portrayed Jesus and on another occasion he performed as the show's Judas.

"We've done other rock musicals like 'Rent' and 'Hair'", Beth Winkler Bowden (Mary Madgalene) said. "But unfortunately we had never done 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' So it's a really exciting production for the light opera guild."

The Charleston Light Opera Guild presents "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Nina Pasinetti
Musical Direction by John Marshall
Friday and Saturday, November 4, 5, 11-12, 18-19 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday November 13 at 2:00 p.m.
Charleston Civic Center Little Theater
200 Civic Center Drive, Charleston WV
Reserved Tickets $25 on sale now at or call / visit Civic Center Little Theatre box office, open Mon-Sat 11am-2pm and one hour before showtimes


Ryan Hardiman-Jesus
Christopher Conard-Judas
Beth Winkler Bowden-Mary Magdalene
Kenny Harbolt-Pilate
Ted Brightwell-Herod
John Valleau-Caiaphas
Rick Fleenor-Annas
Cameron Vance-Peter
Stephen Hayward-Simon
Jacob Fleck-Soldier/Apostle
Max Ross-Priest/Apostle
Chris Terpenning-Priest/Apostle
Mark Felton-Priest/Apostle
Aaron Sheppard-Apostle
Jerry Marsili-Apostle
Dewey Fletcher-Apostle
Julie Simon-Woman by Fire
Terry Terpenning-Apostle's Wife
Lynn Bell-Apostle's Wife
Anne Marie Haddy-Apostle's Wife
Karen Williams-Soul Singer
Dwedee Kobbah-Soul Singer
Ashle Branham-Soul Singer/Dancer
Shakira Martin-Featured Dancer
Kim Patterson-Featured Dancer
Caroline Shriver-Featured Dancer
Savannah Reece-Ensemble
Grace Walker-Matthews-Ensemble
Amelia Allen-Ensemble
Susannah Atkins-Ensemble
Delaney Wells-Ensemble

Nina Denton Pasinetti-Director/Choreographer
John Marshall-Musical Director
John Patrick-Accompanist
Tom Pasinetti-Technical Director

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