Playing Jesus and Judas, seniors Daniel Rosenberg and Spencer Martin stormed across the stage at the Nickerson Performing Arts Center as The Gregory School’s elaborate production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened Friday night to a sizable crowd.

Upper school drama teacher Lisa Bodden directed “Superstar,” a rock opera account of the last week in the life of religious icon Jesus Christ.

Twenty-seven students in the middle and upper schools performed as cast during the musical, including senior Ruby Meyer, who comforted Jesus in the play as Mary Magdalene, and Brian Liu as Pontius Pilate.

According to Bodden, the rock opera format meant each scene was timed and the music continued throughout, with a “growly rock and roll” style and “a more emotional feel.”

Leads Ruby Meyer and Daniel Rosenberg are classically trained vocalists, and Bodden said they were “being pushed wth the rock aspect.”

Rosenberg said Friday, “The music is challenging, but we really tackled it. It’s a large toll on my voice. It’s a really sensational show, very teary-eyed, very dramatic. It’s very intense.”

The cast and crew rehearsed for weeks after school to prepare for the three shows. Bodden said she was “attempting a Sunday matinee” this year and added a third performance April 17 at 3:30 PM. “We have never done that before,” Bodden said.

Music teacher Chris Fresolone conducted the eight-person student orchestra, which played throughout and was accompanied by a professional guitarist.

Bodden recalled choosing “Superstar” last fall after English teacher Robert Mossman suggested the musical during Interim Week.

“The more I thought about it, the more excited I got, the more I realized we had people who would be excellent in the cast for it, which is pretty much my number one concern,” Bodden said.

Senior Ruby Meyer said Friday, “I’m really excited but the feeling is a little bittersweet because this is going to be my last performance at The Gregory School.”

Senior Skylar Decker worked backstage as stage manager, while sophomore Ben Manninen designed and controlled the show’s flexible LED lighting, which was projected onto the white set.

Upper school art teacher Virginia Encila also organized an art show in the theater lobby before the show.