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The classic rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar will be produced at Chicago’s Paramount theater in its Broadway season finale. This 1970s musical explores the last seven days and the internal struggles of none other than Jesus Christ. The classic has been put on in 31 countries with many talented ensembles, however, Chicago is surely going to be memorable. Paramount Theater will feature an all Black cast lead by theater veteran Destan Owens as Jesus of Nazareth. Owens has been seen by Broadway audiences in productions such as Chicago (Billy Flynn), Rent (Tom Collins), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Adrian) but also some movie and small screen appearances in “Across the Universe” and TV’s “30 Rock”.

Owens is joined by Mykal Kilgore as Judas Iscariot, Felicia Boswell (Mary Magdalene), Rufus Bonds Jr. (Pontius Pilate), Avionce Hoyles (King Herod/Annas) and Lorenzo Rush jr. (Caiaphas).

Not only will the show have an amazing cast but director and producer Ron Kellum is making his Paramount theater debut. Kellum has a wide range of credits under his directing belt including Rent, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Kellum also staged the NFL 2017 Pro Bowl half time show. The show will also feature Paramount familiars, Tom Vendafreddo and Kory Danielson as co-music directors leading a 14 piece rock band.

According to Showbiz Chicago, Kellum said,

“Why an all-Black Superstar? ‘Why not’ Our responsibility as storytellers is to find ways to represent truth in ways that translate to every audience no matter of color, creed, orientation or status This will be a soul stirring experience!”

The ensemble features Stephen “Blu” Allen, Jos N. Banks, Ciera Dawn, Gilbert Domally, Candace C. Edwards, Jared D.M. Grant, Keirsten Hodgens, Mark J.P. Hood, Reneisha Jenkins, Micheal Lovette, Evan Tyrone Martin, Gabriel Mudd, Brian Nelson Jr., Renelle Nicole, Jaymes Osborne, Kafi Pierre, Jon Pierce, Travis Porchia, Camille Robinson, Alexis J. Roston and Jessica Brooke Seals.

Catch the show April 19th – through May 28 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.


  • John Latiker

    call me ignorant, but Ive studied the theater, am an avid fan, and have my degree in Theater Arts. I am biracial, and 42 years old. That being said, having been on and behind the stage, I feel I am pretty educated in saying that this bourgeoisie ethnocentric pretentiousness has to stop. There is no racism in the theater. If that were the case Sanford and Son would be just as guilty as Happy days. I’m not going to spin my work to accommodate some hyper sensitive African American, or whatever the pure breeds are going by these days. If my work requires a white man, Im casting a white man. If I need a white woman, I will cast a white woman. My vision is NOT for sale. Sometimes, you cnat have the roles you want. Welcomse to the theater. Then, tell ya what: I will buy the most expensive seat in the house when someone casts August Wilson’s Fences with an all white cast. Just saying.

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