Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Susan V. Booth to Direct New Musical at the Alliance Theatre

Artistic Director Susan V. Booth of Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre has been selected to direct the revolutionary new musical Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL. The musical will run Jan. 14 – Feb. 22, 2009 on the Alliance Stage with rehearsals scheduled to begin in December 2008. Booth was selected to direct the show after meeting with senior producers of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group in London.

“It’s a terrific honor and a humbling challenge to take on a work so iconic and beloved as Superstar,” said Booth. “While my enthusiasm for the project was already high as a producer, the opportunity to wrap my directing arms around this utterly Atlanta-centric production in partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group is just fantastic.”

Directing musicals is not new to Booth as she has recently directed two highly successful musicals since her arrival at the Alliance in 2001: My Fair Lady (January 2004) and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (September 2007). As a stage director, her work has been seen at theatres including the Alliance, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, St. Louis Repertory, New York Stage and Film, and many others. During her tenure at the Alliance, she has produced numerous world premieres including The Color Purple, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, SISTER ACT the Musical and The Women of Brewster Place.

Reflecting on Booth’s selection, American songwriter Louis St. Louis (who conceived this new gospel version) said, “I feel blessed to have the incredible Susan Booth working on this project. I thought I'd hit the jackpot when she opted to include this in the 40th Anniversary season, but the icing on the cake is having her in the position of director. Wow!”

Booth was scheduled to direct Smart Cookie, the fifth winner of the nationally recognized Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, which runs Jan. 30 – Feb. 22, 2009. A replacement director has not yet been identified.

As conceived by Louis St. Louis, Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL is a new version arranged from the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The production traces the last seven days of the life of Christ in a vividly contemporary gospel setting with an inspirational beat to classics like “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Everything’s Alright.” This is a unique, innovative musical experience.

St. Louis said, “I must add I am also infinitely honored to have been granted this opportunity by Andrew Lloyd Webber. You must understand, for a [child] product of Detroit's Pentecostal Church, this is the greatest full-circle moment in my career, and I am thrilled to share this experience with Susan and the Alliance.”

Visit for more information about the 2008-09 season.

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