Jesus Christ Superstar is the first Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical to be professionally produced. After beginning as a concept album, it was adapted as a rock opera and opened on Broadway in 1971, starring Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. Its London production opened in 1972, and went on to become the longest running show in West End history at the time, running for 8 years. Since then, the show has been produced many times in many countries all over the world. Two film versions have also been released, in 1973 and 2000.
Jesus Christ Superstar is based on the Gospels' account of the last seven days of Jesus' life, starting with the preparations for Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion. It offers a free interpretation of the psychology of Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene, among others. There is a good deal of twentieth-century influence, as references to modern political and social life are peppered throughout the piece. Accordingly, many productions feature intentionally anachronistic features to emphasize these parallels.
As the name suggests, the score is heavily rock-influenced, and the show is completely sung through, causing it to bear resemblance to a modern rock concert. Many productions therefore include visual and sound effects similar to those one would find in a concert show. Cast recordings of the show have been very successful, featuring such songs as "Heaven on Their Minds," "Everything's Alright," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," and "Superstar." With such a unique combination of ancient Biblical material and modern rock sensibilities, this show is a must-see. Check the Jesus Christ Superstar schedule and grab your tickets right away!Plot Synopsis:
Judas Iscariot, one of the apostles, expresses his concern over Jesus Christ's rising fame as a "king" and son of God. He believes that Jesus is just a man, and worries that his following will be seen as a threat to the ruling Roman Empire, which would undoubtedly extinguish the movement if it saw Jesus and his followers as opposition. Meanwhile, Jesus' followers constantly ask him what is next, but he tells them to stop worrying about the future because it is determined by God. Mary Magdalene tries to comfort Jesus in his troubles, but Judas reprimands him for associating with her because she is a prostitute. Jesus tells him not to judge others unless he is without sin, and begins to grow concerned that his apostles do not care about him.
Meanwhile, several Jewish priests, including Caiaphas, meet and decide that the Roman reaction to Jesus' movement could be harmful to the entire Jewish community. As Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, Caiaphas demands that Jesus disband the group, but he refuses. The apostle Simon urges Jesus to start a war with Rome, but Jesus refuses again, claiming that none of his followers truly understand his message. When Jesus arrives at the Temple in Jerusalem and finds it being used as a marketplace for weapons, drugs, and prostitutes, he furiously demands that it be cleared out. When he is confronted by lepers, cripples, and beggars who ask him to heal them, he heals some, but becomes exhausted and tells the rest to heal themselves. Trying to comfort him again, Mary Magdalene finds herself falling in love with Jesus, but doesn't know how to love such a man. Judas, believing it would be better to turn Jesus in before anyone has to die, meets with the priests and agrees to lead them to Jesus, accepting money for the deed.
As he and his apostles sit down at what Jesus knows will be his last supper, he predicts that he will be betrayed and asks that his apostles remember him when they eat and drink. Though Jesus initially asks God to spare him his gruesome fate, he eventually realizes that he can not defy God's will and makes peace with his destiny. Jesus is arrested, stands trial, and, largely in an effort to keep the peace with the public, Pontius Pilate condemns him to be crucified. Judas worries that he will be forever loathed as a traitor and Mary Magdalene laments this tragedy and yearns to return to happier days as Jesus is put up on a cross and dies. To see this epic, emotional story in full detail, pick up your Jesus Christ Superstar tickets today.Run Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission Advisory: Appropriate for ages 12 and up Awards: 1972 Tony Awards: 5 nominations 1972 Drama Desk Awards: Most Promising Composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber 2000 Tony Awards: 1 nomination Creative Team: Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics Tim Rice Cast: North American Tour Jesus Christ Ben Forster Judas Iscariot Brandon Boyd Mary Magdalene Michelle Williams Pontius Pilate JC Chasez King Herod Johnny (Rotten) Lydon Jesus Christ Superstar News: June 9, 2014 The North American arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar kicks off in New Orleans! March 1, 2012 The critically acclaimed Des McAnuff-directed production of Jesus Christ Superstar will begin preview performances at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre, with an official opening night of March 22! June, 2011 A third film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar is rumored to be in development for release in 2014.