‘Jesus Christ Superstar:’ a 25-year super accomplishment

Special to The PREVIEW

Darcy DeGuise plays the role of Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The production opens in two weeks, on June 26, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. 

Darcy DeGuise plays the role of Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The production opens in two weeks, on June 26, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

In just a few weeks, Curtains Up, Pagosa! will present their greatest musical-theater challenge in its 25-year history, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

This powerful rock opera is scheduled for June 26, 27, 28, and July 2, 3, and 6 at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium and, like all of their productions, will be accompanied by a live pit orchestra. Tickets are $15 (adults), $12 (seniors 65 and up), and $10 (students) and will be available at the door.

Curtains Up, Pagosa!, formerly Music Boosters, has every reason to be very proud of its 25-year history. Back in 1989, a small thespian group of friends in Pagosa Springs thought it would be fun to “put on a show.” The yearning for the stage struck and they figured a musical revue would be a fun community event. The group presented a homemade review called “Radio Hour” in the junior high school gymnasium, filled with music of the ’30s and ’40s and a script of reminiscences by Russ and Carol Boosted. They had such fun that they did it again the next year, and the next.

These performances took on a life of their own. The group went from putting on musical revues to presenting their first full-fledged Broadway musical, “Brigadoon,” in the sanctuary of the Community United Methodist Church, complete with sets and costumes.

Since they never intended this endeavor to be a moneymaker for themselves, with the enthusiastic encouragement of David Mitchell, then owner of The Pagosa Springs SUN, the group decided it was prudent to become an official nonprofit organization and to use the proceeds to provide scholarships for students planning to major in music in college. From this nucleus of friends was born the group called Music Boosters, now called Curtains Up, Pagosa!

“To my knowledge, there isn’t another organization quite like this one. Curtains Up, Pagosa! not only provides scholarships to graduating seniors majoring in the arts, but also sound equipment, costumes, sets, instruments, computer teaching programs for public school arts programs and, most importantly, mentoring to young people interested in the arts,” says director Dale Johnson.

“The organization was founded out of a love and passion for music and theater arts, by people who needed an outlet for their skills and talents and knew first-hand the power and importance of the arts within a community. That love has translated into over 40 productions over the past 25 years, with countless students and adults alike being touched and changed by our organization.

“Not only that, but Music Boosters, now Curtains Up, Pagosa!, was instrumental in raising public enthusiasm for making sure our new high school included a full-sized auditorium and stage. This facility is now one of the most frequently used public facilities in our community.”

There is really no way to determine the number of lives that have been touched and changed by the power of the arts through this organization over the past 25 years. It is doubtful that the nucleus group of thespians had any idea what they were starting. But, one thing is certain: Curtains Up, Pagosa! is a powerhouse in promoting the arts in Pagosa Springs and, for the past 25 years, has been at the forefront of educating, entertaining and supporting students and adults alike in their artistic endeavors. They continue to provide an important artistic outlet for the amateur and semi-professional actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists, and a wonderful venue to bring professional quality performances to our community.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is the 25-year culmination of a passion for the arts that is inherent in the culture of Pagosa Springs.

“I have never seen another small town as passionate for the arts as the folks here in Pagosa. I think our beautiful mountains inspire the creativity in us all and make us strive for something far greater than ourselves. I can hardly wait to see what the next 25 years bring,” says Johnson.

This story was posted on June 12, 2014.