Also a superstar behind the scenes

Jesus Christ Superstar assistant floor manager Jim Gibson helped Showbiz Queenstown with a production five years ago and has been involved ever since. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Jesus Christ Superstar assistant floor manager Jim Gibson helped Showbiz Queenstown with a production five years ago and has been involved ever since. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Audiences at Showbiz Queenstown's season of Jesus Christ Superstar might not spot Jim Gibson, but he has been a critical part of bringing director Marty Newell's vision to life.

The retired bank manager has been involved with Showbiz for about five years after being asked ''to come along and help'' one day.

''So I came along and helped and I've been here ever since.''

He has been behind the scenes at every production since, taking on various roles, this year deciding to take a ''step back'' in his role of assistant floor manager.

''I've been looking after the construction, basically, and painting and setting the whole stage.''

This production differed in that there was ''not much movement'' in the stage setting, which meant the permanent set needed to be workable for every scene and safe for the actors on stage.

He was also kept on his toes interpreting Mr Newell's vision for the show.

''It's just the challenge [I enjoy].

''How on earth you're going to put together what Marty wants - he's always coming up with ideas, like, 'We want a table but we want a leg to break off at a certain time'.

''I've always said it fills in the time between the end of the fishing season and the start of the ski season.

''It only takes three weeks out of your life.''

Mr Newell said people like Mr Gibson were integral to the success of Showbiz Queenstown.

''He's one of those guys that can just do anything, make anything - if not, he finds out how ... and it's done.

Ahead of tomorrow night's opening of Jesus Christ Superstar, Mr Gibson said audiences would be ''blown away'' by Showbiz Queenstown's interpretation of the script.

''It's just so different from any other show that we've done.''

Mr Newell said he was excited to lift the curtain on months of hard work by the cast and crew, which includes 30 on stage, 14 crew members, nine band members, make-up, hair and wardrobe.

''I've never seen anything like this before. It's looking really good.''

Showbiz Queenstown had put a 21st century twist on the musical, opting for contemporary costumes, lighting and video effects, promising the most technical and visually spectacular show seen on the Queenstown Memorial Centre stage.

Jesus Christ Superstar, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a dramatisation of the last seven days of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, played by Finley Brentwood, seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot (Paul Halsted).

The musical phenomenon reveals an all-too-human soul in the man many believe to be the son of God, the fickle nature of those closest to him, the heartache of a woman who loves him (Mary, played by Lisa Moore) and the motives of the man who ultimately betrays him.

Jesus Christ Superstar opens at the Queenstown Memorial Centre tomorrow and runs until May 24. Tickets from $25 available from Queenstown i-Site, the Queenstown Events Centre and www.ticketeck.co.nz.