‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to be restaged

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - February 20, 2020 - 12:00am

The article I wrote the other day about “The Eyes of Darkness,” a thriller novel by American writer Dean Koontz released in 1981, became viral on social media yesterday. As I said, the book focuses on a mother who sets out on a quest to find out if her son truly did die one year ago, or if he was still alive.

What was remarkable in that book is it pointed to the City of Wuhan that developed a virus that would affect the globe in 2020. David Koontz calls it Wuhan 400. How the author could prophesy what would happen to the world in this very year, 39 years ago, truly is hard to fathom. I believe that this was the reason why certain netizens believe that the COVID 19 came as a result of the biological warfare weapon created by China. The rest is history.

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Last Tuesday afternoon, I huffed over to the Laguna Garden conference room for the official presscon of the up and coming re-showing of that hit Broadway play, the first-ever play by Andrew Lloyd Weber, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It was replayed only last December 2019 at the Colegio De La Inmaculada Concepcion (CIC), which has always shown many Broadway play adaptations like the “King and I” and “Camelot”. My favorite Broadway and cinematic musical, aside from what I already mentioned, are “My Fair Lady,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Sound of Music,” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

Mind you, during my millennial years, in the age before cellphones, computers or Google, we listened to records and memorized 90 percent of the songs in the musicals I mentioned. I saw Jesus Christ Superstar not only in Inmaculada, but that same year was the first time I went to New York and saw Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. It was then that I told my dear friend, Director Benjie Diola, that the “39 lashes” in his version was superior to that of Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ in the sense that Benjie used strobe lights which were new to the disco scene, while Andrew’s version wasn’t dramatic at all. I also saw Jesus Christ Superstar in London when Filipina Joana Ampil played Mary Magdalene.

The coming replay of Jesus Christ Superstar will be on March 12, 13 and 14. To be totally honest with our readers, I was probably the only media who went to the presscon playing song of Jesus Christ Superstar on my car stereo. With the kick-off of the Lenten season next week, it is the time I always listen to Jesus Christ Superstar, which is why I ended up memorizing its songs.

Benjie Diola introduced us to the cast, led by the eldest who is Philippine Airlines (PA) Vice President Harry Inoferio, who will play King Herod, while Vice Governor Hilario “JunJun” Davide, Caiaphas; Emmanuel Casqujo, Jesus Christ; Zennith Rivera and Roland Empleo, Judas. Mary Magdalene will be played by Megan Deane Gabison and Pilate by Dr. Shawn Espina.

Actually, many from CIC classes are involved in this play to mark the 140th anniversary of the school. That CIC has been churning out musicals in the last 50 years not as a profit center, but as a training ground for talented Cebuanos, is laudable, to say the least. Just look at the life of Director Benjie Diola who ended up working in Guam, but has now returned to Cebu to rekindle the talents of Cebuanos. I asked Benjie what his next Broadway play would be, and he said he let Mother Superior answer that query that after CIC installs an air-conditioning to the Theater. They are planning to revive “King and I,” which for me is one of the best Broadway plays that I have ever seen.

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During our 888 News Forum last Tuesday, Board Member Glenn Soco told us that the Cebu Provincial Board passed on Monday an ordinance requiring parties of minor road accidents to immediately remove their vehicles after taking necessary photos and videos of the incident. Authored by Soco himself, the ordinance is known as the “Fender Bender Act/Minor Accident Act of 2019”. The measure is in relation to the October 7, 2019 declaration of a traffic crisis in the Province of Cebu that he also authored. We shall be discuss more on this issue in due time.


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