Jesus Christ Superstar

Mendalla

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Just found out NBC is broadcasting a live concert performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday. Great cast, too, with John Legend as Jesus and Sarah Bareilles as Mary. And Alice Cooper as Herod should be entertaining.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_Superstar_Live_in_Concert!

I was going to watch the film of the 2000 production with Glenn Mayall on Hoopla but I may just watch this one instead.

What are people's thoughts on this Lloyd-Webber classic today? Is it a "Christian" rock opera or just using the story as the basis for a good, entertaining musical show? Love it, like it, hate it, or meh?
 

Luce NDs

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Just found out NBC is broadcasting a live concert performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday. Great cast, too, with John Legend as Jesus and Sarah Bareilles as Mary. And Alice Cooper as Herod should be entertaining.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_Superstar_Live_in_Concert!

I was going to watch the film of the 2000 production with Glenn Mayall on Hoopla but I may just watch this one instead.

What are people's thoughts on this Lloyd-Webber classic today? Is it a "Christian" rock opera or just using the story as the basis for a good, entertaining musical show? Love it, like it, hate it, or meh?
Some say it is an illuminating myth ...
 

revsdd

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I wasn't aware of this. I like "Jesus Christ Superstar," and I'm a huge fan of Sara Bareilles (one of my favourite - perhaps my favourite - singers) so I may well tune in to this, or at least record it for later viewing.

As for the play itself, as I said, basically I like it. Its portrayal of Judas is a very interesting one. I haven't seen Superstar in quite a while but as I remember he's a fairly sympathetic character in this and he turns on Jesus because he doesn't like the direction Jesus sets his disciples on - which I think is probably fairly accurate. On the more critical side, I've always been bothered by the fact that Superstar - like Godspell - claims to tell (loosely) the story of Jesus without including the resurrection.
 

dreamerman

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Just found out NBC is broadcasting a live concert performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday. Great cast, too, with John Legend as Jesus and Sarah Bareilles as Mary. And Alice Cooper as Herod should be entertaining.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_Superstar_Live_in_Concert!

I was going to watch the film of the 2000 production with Glenn Mayall on Hoopla but I may just watch this one instead.

What are people's thoughts on this Lloyd-Webber classic today? Is it a "Christian" rock opera or just using the story as the basis for a good, entertaining musical show? Love it, like it, hate it, or meh?
I liked the 70's version best. Although I did see the British version in the early 2000's and enjoyed that one too. I look forward to watching the new one. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Luce NDs

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Jude is a fine portrayal of the power of first admonition ... and it sells ... and there is a story of the Greatest Salesman ... a scholar that can make a living from non-sense ...? Og .. or doesn't augur well with yah ?
 

Jae

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Yeah... I think I can find something else to watch. Not really into shows that insult my Savior.
 

Luce NDs

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Yeah... I think I can find something else to watch. Not really into shows that insult my Savior.
Insult the Savant? ... Could this happen in the normally devoid of respect ... common folk ... pagan Christians ... wee peoples ...

There was a contentious monk by a similar name (Savonarola?) He became a flame in the eyes of a ruling Pope ... power can do that ... and the story went on chased (chaste) by a scribe by the name of Pogio ... later made funny in political satyrs that American Powers neigh censured ... there were crocs portrayed in the pool ... sometimes humanity as a swamped attribute ...
 

Northwind

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I saw the ads but hadn't clued in that the show would be on TV. I thought the ads were for a live show in Edmonton or somewhere. I'd like to watch it.
 

BetteTheRed

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My favorite version, thus far, is the British Arena production with Tim Minchin as Judas.

One of my favorite pieces of all time. I love Webber-Rice productions. I was discouraged from enjoying it when it was first released (as an LP) by my Lutheran minister with exactly the same comment as revsdd shares today - that it did not incorporate the resurrection. The more things change...
 

Lastpointe

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Love it. Bought the album before it became a musical when I was a teen

Saw the fabulous version at Stratford five or so years ago.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is notoriously anal about his musicals. He really demands adherence to his vision so I expect it will be very true to script

It’s worth finding the DVD and watching it with the commentary. Directed by Norman Jewisson and gosh forget guy who was Jesus. They talk about filming it, the other actors. The fellow who was Judas who got AIDS and died. How the musical challenged their spiritual life. Interesting.
 

Luce NDs

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My favorite version, thus far, is the British Arena production with Tim Minchin as Judas.

One of my favorite pieces of all time. I love Webber-Rice productions. I was discouraged from enjoying it when it was first released (as an LP) by my Lutheran minister with exactly the same comment as revsdd shares today - that it did not incorporate the resurrection. The more things change...
Illumination thus remains below the horizon for the bulk? Tis a dark perspective ... yet education and intelligence is still trashed in the chase of what we desire ... "avarice?"
 

Mendalla

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Yeah... I think I can find something else to watch. Not really into shows that insult my Savior.
Question: Have you ever watched it or is your evaluation that it "insults my Saviour" based on reviews and hearsay? Yes, it dwells fairly closely on the human side of Jesus, but the character of Jesus is actually reasonably faithful.

I liked the 70's version best.
My favorite recording remains the original concept album with Ian Gillan, Yvonne Elliman, and Murray Head. Rawer and more deserving of the "rock" part of the "rock opera" tag than recent recordings.
 

Lastpointe

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Yeah... I think I can find something else to watch. Not really into shows that insult my Savior.

I think you should watch it. Nothing insults Jesus. It obviously expands the story to include details that aren’t part of the bible. An extremely moving scene in the movie is shot inside what seems to be a limestone cave. All the apostols are there. Jesus is tired. Mary is putting oil on his feet to soothe him and sings about loving him. Judas is watching from the side. And then the scriptural comment about how that oil could have been used to feed the poor

Of course it is an interpretation but it isn’t insulting. At least IMO
 

Mendalla

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Directed by Norman Jewisson and gosh forget guy who was Jesus. They talk about filming it, the other actors. The fellow who was Judas who got AIDS and died.
Jewison's movie is good, not my favorite version musically but the staging and direction is wonderful. Ted Neeley was Jesus and Carl Anderson was Judas.
 

Lastpointe

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Ah yes. Was having brain freeze. And Ellerman as Mary. Carl Anderson was wonderful as tortured Judas
 

Hilary

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I've never seen any version. Maybe this will be my introduction.
 

Mendalla

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To add my own thoughts on Jesus Christ Superstar.

I think I saw the movie first, later owned a cassette of the original concept album (which, IIRC, I got as a Easter gift). Listened that poor cassette to death. I still consider JCS one of Lloyd-Webber's and Rice's best works, in spite of all that both men have done since.

It takes a familiar story, that of Jesus' last week, and delves more into the humanity of it than a more "faithful" version might have done. And that's why I don't mind them stopping at the Crucifixion. It was never intended to be some kind of triumphalist Christian showpiece, but as an exploration of a man wrestling with an extraordinary calling. IOW, JCS is not about the Saviour Christ, but about a very human Jesus (which, I suspect, is what @Jae is objecting to). It shows him wrestling with his mission and purpose while others react to him and that mission in various ways around him (Judas urging a more militant approach, Mary struggling between loving him as a man and loving him as a "God", Herod and the temple leaders opposing and plotting against him). Its strength is precisely in its lack of the supernatural elements of the story, in its focus on a human wrestling with being, or being seen as, God.

I also think it is really the only one of the Lloyd-Webber musicals that truly qualifies as a "rock opera" in a pure sense. It is "rock" both in sound and in approach, at least when done right (e.g. Jewison's movie). It is "opera" in that it tells a powerful, dramatic story in very broad brushstrokes entirely through singing.

And Rice's lyrics have some bite to them, unlike some of Lloyd-Webber's later collaborators like Don Black. "Superstar" may sound triumphalist but read what Judas is actually singing in the verses and its rather biting and cynical. "What's the Buzz" is another. And, yet, that cynicism is always in the hands of those around Jesus, those seeking to use or oppose him. Jesus himself is what you'd expect, a sincere, faithful, prophetic voice, even if he is clearly wrestling with his mission and the destiny before him. And the best songs, pieces like "I Don't Know How to Love Him" and "Gethsemane", are powerfully emotional and quite the opposite of cynical both lyrically and musically.

All IMHO, but it is my reaction to it after many years of listening to, and enjoying it.
 

BetteTheRed

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Nice summary. I think I know every lyric by heart. I've been re-listening to Chess today and discovering that I know it largely by heart as well...
 

Jae

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Question: Have you ever watched it or is your evaluation that it "insults my Saviour" based on reviews and hearsay?
Reviews, cautions from trusted friends and advisors.
 
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