Queenstown entertainer Finley Brentwood will reprise the
lead role in the new Showbiz Queenstown musical theatre
production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which will be be
performed at the Queenstown Memorial Centre from May 14-24.
Photo by James Beech.
Finley Brentwood had tears running down his face and
collapsed on the floor after singing Gethsemane (I Only Want
at his audition for the starring role in Jesus
The Queenstown-born-and-raised entertainer said he had gotten
''in the zone'' and stayed there.
Marty Newell, the director, rose from his seat, walked over
to the actor and gave him a hug.
''He got to play Jesus 15 years ago, so he knows what you
have to draw on and give that particular song,'' Brentwood
''There's a lot of high-pitched notes - it's a workout for
the vocal chords.''
Brentwood also knew what it took to play Jesus in the
Broadway hit created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
It was his performance for the Taieri Musical Society
production two years ago which revived his passion for
musical theatre after a break of more than three years, he
The New Zealand Broadcasting School graduate returned to the
Queenstown arts scene after a decade in La Cage aux
Folles last year.
An intensive two months' rehearsing and two months'
performing at the Court Theatre in Christchurch over the
summer in The Mikado convinced him the stage was where
The 23-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist hails from a
family with a long involvement in the performing arts.
He and his sister Isla play as ''Brentwood'', and their song
Something New was voted third favourite by the
audiences of the original music competition Songstars in
''There's no better feeling than pouring your heart out, if
that's the kind of song, and becoming that person somebody
else has written,'' Brentwood said.
Brentwood, opposite Paul Halsted as Judas and Lisa Moore as
Mary, plus a cast of more than 30 Wakatipu performers, will
explore the depths of their characters more fully once
rehearsals move from the Showbiz rooms to the Queenstown
Memorial Centre in the next few weeks.
Brentwood said the reimagining of the rock opera from 1971
into a modern post-Occupy Wall Street world would be unlike
anything Queenstown audiences had seen before.
''It's just another way of looking at things,'' Brentwood
''While there's definitely a religious element to it, you
don't have to think about it that way. It's all your own
perspective. You can see it from Jesus' or Judas' side.
''Everyone knows the show because it's one of the most told
stories, but it's the journey, how different can we make it,
and that's what people will enjoy.''