Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Both Sides of the Curtain Rock Opera Marks Justin Murphy's Professional Leap to Actor, Producer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Both Sides of the Curtain Rock Opera Marks Justin Murphy's Professional Leap to Actor, Producer

Article excerpt

Justin Murphy does not lack for ambition.

At 25, Murphy has embarked on his second career. The former comic book artist -- who still works in the graphics department of WJXT TV-4 -- is now pursuing a career as actor and impresario.

He's producing and starring in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar that will play the Florida Theatre for four performances beginning Thursday.

Murphy has pulled together an impressive cast and crew for his show:

James Beeks, a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate currently appearing on Broadway, is his Judas.

David Bedella, who played Caiaphas from 1992 to 1995 in the national touring company, will be Murphy's Caiaphas.

Roger Butterley, a Jacksonville native who has worked as conductor and arranger for Phoebe Snow, will serve as arranger and conductor for the show, working with an 18-piece orchestra complete with string section.

Bob Butterley, Roger's brother, a rock singer and actor who used to play the Alhambra Dinner Theatre regularly and more recently has been working off-Broadway, will play Pontius Pilate.

Michelle Ottley Fisher, head of the dance department at Landon Middle School, is director and choreographer.

Johnny Pettigrew of Florida Community College at Jacksonville is doing the sets.

Tod Booth Jr., stage manager for the Alhambra, will be the stage manager.

The point, Murphy insists, is that this isn't community theater, even if it is being produced in Jacksonville. In fact, if he had his druthers, this story wouldn't mention that this Jesus Christ Superstar is a local production, not a touring bus and truck show.

Saundra Floyd, event coordinator and operations manager for the Florida Theatre, said she sympathized with that position. "People in this town equate local with amateur," she said. "But from what I've seen, this is a quality production."

Murphy did not study music in high school or college though his mother, Cathy Murphy, who is his musical director, used to teach music at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and now works as musical director at Crossroads Church. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.