Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 17, 2000
'Love story' back for 29th year
Special to the WCR
One of the most remarkable love stories has been told and presented in Edmonton for the past 28 years.
Love According to John is being presented this year for the 29th time at the Jubilee Auditorium Good Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 7:30 pm and Easter Sunday at 2:30 pm.
It is a vibrant moving musical with scores of music from rock to opera. It has the largest amateur cast to hit the stage with nearly 300 people involved, including the stage crew, orchestra and band.
This production is probably the most ecumenical Christian production ever assembled with the cast coming from at least 10 denominations, never mind the phenomenal number of different churches and religious groups represented.
The cast comes from virtually every corner of North/Central Alberta. They come from as far north as Cold Lake, as far east as Daysland, as far west as Peers and as far south as Calmar.
Numerous entire families are involved.
There is a strong representation of Catholics in the production starting with the Noster and Fast families from Derwent. There are the Stolz from Morinville, Holtslags and Sarafinchans from St. Albert, Pelletiers and Schafers from Legal, Sanches from Spruce Grove, Fagnans, Lucas and Tarangers from Edmonton to name but a few.
Here are some of the Catholic people involved with Love According To John.
Phil Taranger, the assistant director, is an English and drama teacher. He won a Television and Film Institute Award in 1995 for One the Hunter, a motion picture screenplay based on the war time experience of Billy Bishop.
Phil plays the role of Judas and is understudying the role of Jesus as well as assisting the direction of the show. Phil's wife Nimi is also involved in the production as assistant stage manager.
Cathy Lucas and her family are very involved in the show. Cathy has been part of the production for eight years, the last five as head of makeup.
The orchestra is directed by the well-known Francis Dunnigan, a former member of the Edmonton Symphony and Opera orchestras and director of the Edmonton Catholic Schools All-City Band for 30 years. He has also taught in the Edmonton Catholic school system for many years. Frank has been with Love According to John for 14 years.
These people are so committed to Love According to John that they have dedicated their time every Sunday and several Saturdays since Jan. 9 to rehearse.
The production is written and directed by June Hunt. June has a lengthy career in theatre with more than 1,000 professional performances of leading opera roles.
Her involvement in opera and her personal faith made her want to bring to life the biblical record of Jesus and St. Paul. Love According to John and Saul of Tarsus are two of several works that have been the result of this desire.
The band is led by Bruce and Lori Mohacsy from St. Albert. Both are talented musicians and performers. Bruce has played with many of Edmonton's top musicians including Big Miller, Tommy Banks and Sue Moss.
A number of the musical numbers were written by Dan Bagan, a well known Christian singer, writer composer and actor who has been performing in Love According to John for more than 25 years.
Ken Noster has humbly been playing the role of Jesus for 26 years. He and his wife Marlane contribute a great deal more to this production, such as presenting workshops to help the cast improve their dramatic skills.
All seats are reserved. Tickets can be obtained by calling 455-0787. They are also available at most Christian b ookstores.