Musical director Bruce Buchanan has a soft spot for Jesus Christ Superstar.
“It is the very first musical I saw back in 1974. It’s just one of my favourite musicals,” he said.
“It is based on a true story. It was the very first rock opera.”
The Orange Theatre Company first performed it at the Orange Civic Theatre in 1997 with the likes of John Ash, Stuart Jones and Bevan Radburn in the lead roles.
“I came and saw it,” said the then-Bathurst resident Mr Buchanan.
Next year, 21 years later, he will direct the return of the musical to the OCT and the only leading performer from the 1997 show still in Orange is planning a return.
Melissa Stanford shared the role of Mary Magdalene with Rachel Thoms 21 years ago and reprised the character’s signature song I Don’t Know How to Love Him at the OCT’s 2019 subscription season launch on Tuesday night.
“It was such a privilege to sing it,” she said.
“It is such a powerful musical. It’s emotionally amazing. It is quite a spiritual experience regardless of your beliefs because it is such a powerful story.”
She said some of Tuesday night’s audience later told her the performance had brought a tear to their eyes.
Mrs Stanford, who continues to perform locally ‘once or twice a month’ in the duo Rustic Jam, said she was “considering auditioning” next June for the return of Superstar over five performances from October 24-27.
She said I Don’t Know How to Love Him was one of the best she had performed.
“That’s one of my big ones, one of my favourites,” she said.
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