The Cross and the Light“The Cross and the Light,” described as “an epic theatrical experience and a moving musical journey through Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection,” will be staged on March 24-31, 2013 at the Music Hall for the Performing Arts in Detroit.

The musical will feature Filipino-American actor Gary Castaneda as Pontius Pilate. Gary has performed onstage across the United States with the prestigious North American Touring Company of Miss Saigon.[box type=”default” size=”large”] ‘The Cross and the Light’ to be staged on March 23-31 [/box]Gary has also performed with “Sesame Street Live” (US National and Japan International Tour) and “Cedar Point Live Entertainment.” He has likewise staged his own cabaret show on several cruise lines in the Caribbean.

Gary started dancing at age 5 when he joined the Filipino Tagumpay Dance Ensemble which was then under the direction of Antoine Gosioco and Lucita Ocampo. Born in Warren, Michigan, he grew up on East Side, Detroit.

His parents are Lorna Castaneda, who hails from Mangaldan, Pangasinan, and Pablo D. Castaneda who passed away last year and who hailed from Baguio City.

Although he finished a nursing course, his interest in the performing arts prompted him to pursue a career in music and dance. He was studying music at the Oakland University when he was called to work as a singer at the Cedar Point Amusement Park, which was actually a musical theatre boot camp. It was there where he learned to hone his skills as a performer. A few months later, he found himself performing on a seven-day Caribbean tour with Commodore Cruise Line. After a few months, he was invited to perform his own cabaret show with an 11-piece orchestra.

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On playing the role of Pontius Pilate in “The Cross and the Light,” he said, “I am very excited to take on such an intense character in the story. I think the music is beautiful and the content of the show really transports the audience to another time. In many ways, I find this is a show that will not only entertain, but touch people’s hearts as well.”

The producers of “The Cross and the Light” said this powerful musical “will bring you to the foot of the Cross to experience Jesus’s final hours in a way that becomes a personal and profound encounter with our Savior.”

This acclaimed dramatization was described as the “Broadway version of The Passion of Christ” because of its original music score, extraordinary stage production and high-caliber actors.