With the temperatures dropping and snow falling, it’s nice to get out once in awhile and enjoy dinner and a show. With that in mind, Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club’s dinner theatre this year will be a musical revue featuring the best of Jesus Christ Superstar featuring original performers from the Nelson Amy Ferguson Institute production from last November at the Capitol Theatre.
“It’s a nice social/cultural event in the middle of winter,” said Darlene Kalawsky of the Rotary club’s organizing committee. “It’s all local, professional performers. It’s great to be able to come out and support local artists.”
The show goes Jan. 26 at the Castlegar Community Complex with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
The first act will feature all eight performers singing songs from some of the best loved musicals of all time such as Rent, Moulin Rouge, Jeckyll and Hyde, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. The second act will feature timeless songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, which was written in 1969 by a 22 year-old Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice.
The performers include Kevin Armstrong, Pat Henman, Gabriel Macdonald, Michael Calladine, Sydney Black, Solona Armstrong, Bessie Wapp and Arron Nelson. The group will be accompanied by a four piece band coordinated by Laura Johnson.
“You’re going to hear a quality that is some of the best singers that live in Nelson,” said Henman. “I’m very, very happy to be working with these people. I worked with them in Jesus Christ Superstar and when Darlene asked if we could do something like Jesus Christ Superstar, we can’t do the play, so we’re going to do excerpts. We really jumped at the chance of performing those songs again. So we’re putting together excerpts for our second act. It’s going to be amazing. At rehearsal last week, I just thought, ‘wow, this is good.’ You get the same people singing who were playing the leads in Nelson.”
The full performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in Nelson was a big hit with the show selling out five of six nights.
“It was a great experience,” said Henman. “I’ve been performing in theatre since I was a kid. I have a degree, a major in acting. I worked professional for 20 years before moving to Nelson. This was one of the highlights of my 35 years in theatre. I mean, the songs are incredible. The story is timeless, the score is fantastic. Working with 50-some actors for two months on music we all love. Everyone of us knew pretty much every line from everybody’s song. We’re very excited to bring it to Castlegar.”
Some of the song performances people can expect from the Jesus Christ Superstar portion of the show are Gethsemane, which will be sung by Arron Nelson, and I Don’t Know How to Love Him, by Solona Armstrong and, of course, the show-stopping finale number of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The evening will also feature a dinner buffet, live auction and safe ride home. Up for auction will be several items including a Pacific Coastal return airfare for two to Vancouver and a condo stay at Christina Lake. Monies raised will go toward various Rotary projects in the community and abroad.
“The contributions are going to local projects, including our focus project the picnic shelter at Millennium/Twin Rivers Park, which we are developing along with the evening club,” said Kalawsky. “We also have the international projects we support like Polio Plus and Help Honduras. We have the Interactors (Rotary youth club members) as well. They’ll be (the parents) providing the safe rides home.”
The Rotary club thanks all the sponsors, without whom the event would not be possible.
Tickets are still available at Oglow’s. Last year’s event sold out and with only 60 tickets left this year out of 200, Kalawsky recommends picking up your tickets soon.