Pictured Above: Cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” 1984 Cheboygan High School Musical
By Kathy King Johnson
The 1984 cast of Cheboygan Area High School Musical sat on the opera house stage and shattered mirrors. Then they collected the shards and glued them to the giant cross. It sparkled with a million lights for the resurrection scene in the smash Broadway hit “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
For director Midge Shaw, it was one of the biggest productions of her career. The cast was huge and enormously talented. With one song, she realized for the first time her 15-year-old son Peter could sing. Really sing. The sophomore’s performance also caught the attention of Cheboygan High school teacher Dale Rieger. Rieger pulled Shaw aside and told him he should go for a career in show business. Shaw followed this advice. He dreamed of performing before huge audiences.
Graduating from high school, Shaw joined the Young Americans in L.A for a year. The whirlwind tours gave him more stage experience and more confidence. He transferred to Syracuse University, earning a B.A. in musical theater. Then Shaw made the move to New York City and set out to make a name for himself like so many before him. He made a plan and prepared for the moment when he would be discovered.