Summer Musical Theater Set to Stage 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

North Central College’s Summer Musical Theatre presents “Jesus Christ Superstar” June 28-30 and July 5-7 and features actors from the community.

Six performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. June 28-29 and July 5-6 and at 2 p.m. June 30 and July 7 in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. 


Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Jesus Christ Superstar” became a smash hit Broadway musical in its 1971 debut and added a new dimension to musical theatre: the rock opera. 

Both critically and publicly acclaimed, the musical also achieved success abroad, including London’s West End. It also received five Tony Award nominations in 1972, including Best Original Score for an uncharacteristic blend of rock, heavy metal and theatrical pop. “Jesus Christ Superstar” offers a combination of powerful, unforgettable music and the wrenching emotion of the greatest story ever told.

“Audiences should expect to see a rock concert-inspired production,” said Susan Craig-Olsen, choreographer and director of the production and a lecturer in theatre at the College. “They will hear all the amazing rock riffs of the original album, with voices to overshadow the original singers—no exaggeration.”

A theater educator, Craig-Olsen is a veteran performer in Chicago theatre and has toured nationally as a cast member of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring Donny Osmond.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is a musical that provides the director with unique creative opportunities, says Craig-Olsen. “Our production approaches the subject in a way that creates more questions than answers. It has earthy, sensuous and at times even supernatural elements to add color to what must have been in people’s minds at the time of Jesus. We hope that our take on the subject is fresh and even a bit unsettling.”

The performance marks the 16th season of North Central College’s Summer Musical Theatre series, though the tradition of summer musicals at the College dates back more than 50 years. “Jesus Christ Superstar” is the first of three summer productions for 2013. “Iolanthe,” directed by Matt Boresi, will be staged July 12-14 and July 18-20; and “Peter Pan,” directed by Brian Lynch, will run July 26-28 and Aug. 2-4.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit


‘Hot Jazz—6 Cool Nites’ series— Jazz vocalists and recording artists Janice Borla, Jay Clayton and Peter Eldridge headline the 25th annual Hot Jazz-6 Cool Nites concert series July 21-27 at North Central College. 

Performances will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, and Tuesday through Friday, July 23-26, in the College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. 

Tickets for each of the five performances are $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens. 

The series concludes at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27 with a concert featuring student performers from Borla’s annual Vocal Jazz Camp. 

Tickets for this show are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. 

For tickets, call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

The concert series features jazz artists who also are the faculty for Borla’s 25th annual jazz camp, a weeklong educational workshop.

Borla has been described as “a one-woman jazz tornado” whose CD “From Every Angle” was named one of the Best CDs of the Year by DownBeat Magazine. Clayton is regarded as “one of the most phenomenal vocalists in creative improvised music” whose latest CD “The Peace of Wild Things” garnered wide critical praise. 

Eldridge has toured for 20 years with the Grammy winning group New York Voices, and his most recent solo CD “Mad Heaven” showcases his talents as performer, composer and arranger. 

Also featured will be North Central College jazz faculty members Art Davis (trumpet), Brad Stirtz (vibraphone), Dan Haerle (piano), Bob Bowman (bass) and Jack Mouse (drums).