Jesus Christ Superstar
Gateway Theatre Productions
The Events Centre, Caloundra
October 27 – November 5 2016
Reviewed by Daisy Cox & James Reid
On the 27th of October we headed to the Caloundra event centre for Gateways production of Jesus Christ Superstar. With the three leading cast members having no prior acting experience and the director with no directing experience we were a little skeptical.
The stage was set with a more modern look with scaffolding and steps. As the opening song started and the cast took to the stage it was clear it was a more modern take to the show, with its strong lighting design and modern costumes.
The show opened with Patrick Goodman on guitar playing the overture, Patrick held two roles juggling lead guitar and the important role of Peter, apostle to Jesus Christ.
First time director Thomas Armstrong-Robley, direction was clear, a modern take on a older show, mobile phones were used on stage as a nod to a modern take, having a live band on stage really added to the journey the characters on.
Armstrongs-Robleys take on King Herod’s scene was really captivating and something that hasn’t been seen before, it was truely a highlight.
Frank Lakoudis as Judas was a fantastic choice for the iconic role his strong singing ability and his fresh take on the character was a treat, the journey Lakoudis took the audience on was a roller coaster, you really felt the struggle and dilemma Judas felt.
Altiyan Childs as Jesus Christ displayed his fantastic singing range and different take on the role of such a historical and important figure, a highlight was when Childs sang possibly the most important song in the musical, Gethsemane, and Childs’ performance really delivered, you could feel the pain Jesus was experiencing with accepting Gods decision.
Emma Beau as Mary was a beautiful soft representation of the character, her country toned voice was a delight especially during the song I Don’t Know How to Love Him” when Mary declares her love for Jesus Christ.
The cast supported the leads extremely well, the choreography In act one seemed cluttered on the stage but by act two it seemed simpler and easier to watch.
As with most opening nights there was some technical problems which I’m sure will get sorted as the shows progresses, Goodmans fantastic guitar playing was a struggle to hear for most of the show, during the song Could We Start Again Please? when Goodman played an acoustic guitar on stage could we hear him well.
Overall it was a fantastic night out and it was great to see the musical theatre scene coming to Caloundra.
– Daisy Cox
What a performance!!
Opening night of the inaugural production for Gateway Theatre Productions saw an excellent combination of professional and amateur performers sharing the stage for the classic musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
The venue was The Events Centre in Caloundra. A classy, large auditorium that was not quite full, but wasn’t too far from it. The music was tight. The musical director has put together an excellent group of musicians who obviously love their job and they are good at it.
Vocally, there was the odd missed note here or there, but mostly it was a blend of hard, raunchy vocals and smooth harmonies. I knew most of the songs, of course, but everyone put their own slant on it, especially the solos & duos. It’s as if the musical director had said – “This is what everyone knows – now make it your own”. And they did. The highlight of the night for most of the audience was Jesus’ rendition of Gethsemane, which was spellbinding.
The choreography was impressive, the acting was impressive, there were no weaknesses in any cast, in any musician, in lighting, the sound wasn’t ear splitting, the mix of voice over music was spot on, it was nothing like I expected and I loved it. As someone who has never seen a production of the show before, I was blown away. I cannot think of one thing to fault.
The stage, although simple in design was versatile enough that with a few props here and there could transform into anything the story needed. The production team led by young director –Thomas Armstrong-Robley, musical director – Lucas D. Lynch, choreographer – Maureen Bowra have put together an incredible spectacle of music, style, passion, darkness and, yes, even a bit of sex.
Obviously, there were some well-known, and popular big names in the cast but the entire ensemble can be proud of what they are bringing to the Sunshine Coast. This production could be summed up in one word – “Powerful”.
– James Reid