Aurora Community Theatre closes its 2012-13 season with a high-energy staging of the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar."

The story is somewhat loosely based on the final week of Jesus's life, with much of it told from the view of Judas Iscariot (played here by Ron Lee Davis), who ultimately winds up betraying Jesus.

Director Marc C. Howard puts together a strong cast for the show. Davis brings a lot of heart and humanity to his role, and Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski, who plays Mary Magdalene, sings effortlessly and brings a sweetness and warmth to her character. Damian Henri, who plays Jesus, is both an acting and vocal powerhouse, whose voice ranges from dulcet to Ted Neeley-esque.

D. Keith Stiver, who played Pontius Pilate, also was very strong vocally and with acting. Adam Klusty and John Kolar, who play Peter and Simon respectively, have nice performances in their roles. Michael Greenawalt, who plays the villianous Caiaphas, makes an imposing presense, and Brian Pichola, who plays Annas, has an incredible tenor voice.

Special kudos to Don Bernardo, who was a last-minute replacement as King Herod. Bernardo's Herod was very much like a carnival barker with a crown, and was very funny. The wigs and costumes for his entourage were a nice touch.

The ensemble had several strong moments, particularly in the Temple scene, where merchants and profiteers have taken over the temple.

Ticket and show information

"Jesus Christ Superstar" runs through May 18. Shows are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with two Sunday matinees on May 5 and 12 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for 18 and younger.

For details, call 330-562-1818 or visit online.

The theater is at 115 E. Pioneer Trail in Aurora.

Next on stage

Aurora Community Theatre will next produce the musical "Rent" by Jonathan Larson, from July 5 through 20.

The theater will have auditions for this show May 7 and 8 from 6 to 10 p.m.

The show will be directed by Denise Astorino.

Actors need to be 19 and older.

To request an audition appointment, email the director at

For other information, call Marianne Paul, producer, at 330-562-9065.

Those auditioning should prepare 16 bars from a contemporary rock musical in the style of the show. An accompanist will be provided. No a capella or CD singing will be allowed. Auditioners should be dressed for movement and dance. There also may be cold readings from the script.

Rehearsals will start in late May, and shows are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with a possible matinee July 14.


Phone: 330-541-9438