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Alum stars in his 1st national tour, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar'

Life has come full circle for Austin Peay State University alumnus Dale Krupla.

At the age of 12, Krupla went to a theater in Cleveland, Ohio, to watch Jesus Christ Superstar, a touring musical production that first opened on Broadway in October 1971.

This was the show that made me want to do theater, said Krupla, who remembers seeing Ted Neeley headlining as Jesus.
Life has come full circle for Austin Peay State University alumnus Dale Krupla.

At the age of 12, Krupla went to a theater in Cleveland, Ohio, to watch “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a touring musical production that first opened on Broadway in October 1971.

“This was the show that made me want to do theater,” said Krupla, who remembers seeing Ted Neeley headlining as Jesus.

Krupla, a Brentwood native, declared theater as his major at APSU, graduating in 2006. And 14 years after seeing “Jesus Christ Superstar,” he joins the cast — with Neeley reprising the role for which he is associated most — in his first national tour.

Cast as the first priest, Krupla auditioned for the role two months ago when a former member left the tour. Awarded the part, he only had a week to prepare before the next performance.

“What worked toward my benefit, though, was that I was familiar with the musical,” said Krupla, who appears in 11 numbers in each show.

The tour's schedule from city to city follows a routine. The theater company loads the bus on the morning of the performance to travel to the next venue. Once there, a series of briefings with the stage manager, announcements and sound checks are held — sometimes lasting three hours.

Before each show, there's a half-hour stage call, meaning the entire cast must be in costume. That's followed by a 15-minute call, then five and then “places.”

“Then you do the show,” Krupla said.

The 2007 tour ended June 12, giving Krupla time to move from his home in Mesa, Ariz., to an apartment in New York City before touring again in 2008. During the hiatus, he will audition for various Broadway shows.

“Actors have to keep their talent sharp, plus earn a living,” Krupla said.
The national tour also stars Corey Glover, best known as the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, Living Colour, as Judas. Although the 2008 schedule is not final, the tour will include a performance at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville, Krupla said.

For more information about the national tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” visit online at http://www.thejcstour.com/. -- Melony Leazer