Michael Tait Stars in Controversial !Hero Again This Fall
(Nashville, Tn.) -- September 18, 2006 – Think of it as ‘Broadway meets video game’ and drop contemporary Christian music’s hippest black rocker—platinum selling Michael Tait of dcTalk fame—into the center of the mix for the starring role in the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning production of !Hero—returning in live concert for a 2006 run. The tour will include a six day December run at The Majestic Theater in Dallas.
The premise of !Hero is a simple one: "What If He Were Born in Bethlehem....Pennsylvania?"
The stark reality of what that might look like: An African American Jesus with dreadlocks being crudely crucified on a street sign in New York ( Jesus is portrayed by Tait); a Judas that kills himself with a .45 caliber bullet to the head; and a drug addicted, tarot card reading "girl of the streets" updating the role of Mary Magdalene. A 21 member cast floods the stage amid the fervent blast of rock music and video screens constantly flashing a litany of high tech images and pulsating graphics.
Noted Tait in a recent interview: "This production struck a chord with me from the very first time I read the script. I knew I had to be involved. People for years have tried to put a 'face' on what they believe in and this expereience will definitely stretch your thoughts about the Jesus you knew growing up. It has stretched me to new levels artistically and spiritually and I'm passionate to be back on the road with a message as timely as that of !Hero."
Initially introduced to audiences at a time when The DaVinci Code was setting records atop the New York Times best seller list, and The Passion Of The Christ was establishing all time first release box office records worldwide, the question was instantly posed of !Hero: 'Have we finally gone too far in reaching the MTV generation with the gospel?' The controversy centered around !Hero only seemingly served to attract major crowds and wide praise from critics:
…!Hero brought the gospel to life with grace, grit, and unflinching faithfulness…it moves and challenges.”
MaryJacobs/Dallas Morning News
… “Intense and very emotional. This show can shake up your life in a very real way.”
… “All the makings of great drama—love, betrayal, temptation, and murder—very entertaining.”
Mark Lowery/Fort Worth Star Telegram
… “Shook up the story of the gospels with breakdancing, split second video images and songs in
the key of the 21st century.
Donna Isbell/Greenville News
..."Every show in every city has been met with rave reviews, as well as standing ovations that last for minutes after the curtain call."
Rick Welke/R&R Magazine.
!Hero started initially as one man's creative dream. A decade ago, former Christian rock artist turned major Nashville music executive, Eddie DeGarmo, contacted Nashville songwriter and friend Bob Farrell to co-create a musical that would reach the MTV generation with a hip, culturally relevant, visually in-your-face presentation of the gospel--told in a language of music, video, and message that even the 21 century, post modern 9/11 world could comprehend.
That dream become a reality in the form of !Hero – which soon became an award winning, critically acclaimed rock opera musical that with a multi-layered success story. Since initial launch to audiences in live concert in 2003, !Hero has to date produced a string of sell-out concerts, a multi-Dove Award winning CD and DVD, a best selling book series –and now with the return of the production on tour, the promise of reaching a whole new universe of fans. Aggressive web and internet campaigns (www.heroshows.com) have heralded the massive set-up for the re-introduction of the arrival of !Hero modern day Messiah.
In addition to Michael Tait in the starring role, the current touring cast is heavily comprised of bright young contemporary Christian artist/musicians and includes: Anadara Arnold as Maggie; Ryan Edgar as Agent Hunter; Michael Quinlan as Jude; Donnie Lewis as Mama; Marshall Mcluhan as Petrov; Jason Eskidge as Kai; Playdough as Jairus; Shannon Bain as Devlin; and Bob Farrell as Governor Pilate.
Bob Farrell bears dual roles: That onstage of portraying wheelchair bound Governor Pilate—and offstage of being the production's director. The 2006 tour is being fielded by Hero Shows, LLC, an alliance formed by Farrell and Dallas based partner, Rich Speakman. "The goal from the onset of !Hero's creation was to get people talking and thinking—to make them angry if necessary—in making the gospel relevant to today and bringing it into the framework of the 21st century we live in,” notes Farrell.
!Hero has ultimately been successful on a major media scale in "rolling the stone away" -- and getting 21st century audiences again talking about that old familiar--and still controversial-- event of some 2,000 years ago. And "talk" is ultimately what the message of good theater is all about.
!HERO 2006 TOUR SCHEDULE:
Waco Hall at Baylor University
Abilene Civic Center
Shoreline Christian Center
Fellowship of the Woodlands
Faith Family Church
WICHITA FALLS, TX
Victory Christian Center
ASU Convection Center
The Majestic Theater
RESOURCE ONLINE: www.heroshows.com
Ticket Information can be obtained through iTickets (www.itickets.com) and TicketMaster (www.ticketmaster.com)