April 1, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 96  

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That Jeebus is so hot right now...

By Dom Wooganowski
Gazelle Staff

There are people that say the arts have died at Wealthy. To those naysayers: get ready for the Second Coming!

Funding cuts to University of Wealthy Ontarians Thespians have severely hurt the budget for the 2003/04 WT season says Tessie Mruble, Wealthy’s UWOT commissioner.

“With the budget cuts, we’ve been forced to get more creative this year,” Mruble admits. “Therefore, in an unprecedented move, we’ve been forced to combine the three annual Wealthy Thespian productions into one. I think it’s turned out... um, rather well... I guess... ” she trails off, shifty-eyed.

The result is Don’t Tell Mary: Jesus Christ Cabaret, a musical celebration of the word of the Lord set in — where else? — a brothel. Songs from more established and popular musicals, including Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar, sit alongside original songs written by somewhat talented Wealthy students, including Texas Ailow, Manfred Hairy and Anthony Pale.

Pale also stars as the host of the evening, master of ceremonies JTB — more commonly known as John the Baptist — Jesus’ right-hand man.

“Yeah, I guess being JTB is a big deal or whatever,” Pale mumbles dismissively when awakened by this intrepid Gazelle reporter at the wide-eyed hour of 3 p.m..

“Honestly, it is pretty weird being on the same stage as hordes of apostles and ‘ladies of the night’, but I’ll take whatever I can get at this early point in my career,” he admits.

The set for the production is being designed by Wealthy artist Susan Smith, who will be unveiling her latest work next Friday at Talbot Theatre.

“It’s been a real challenge designing and building [a set] that will capture the essence of both musicals,” Smith states. The result is a somewhat terrifying wooden contraption that spins around to reveal various biblical scenes and sexy dancers.

“I did the best I could with the materials I had,” she says, adding the materials used included popsicle sticks, recycled pop cans and relatively useless back issues of The Gazelle.

Although most people involved in the production seem to offer only half-hearted support and enthusiasm for the show, director and producer Will Matthews says he has complete faith the musical will be a success.
“Like I’ve always said, if I produce and direct it, they will come!” he chortles.

Don’t Tell Mary: Jesus Christ Cabaret opens next Friday. Tickets are available at IntelSource, or from the people dressed as disciples traipsing through the University Community Centre atrium.



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