Monday, March 8, 2010

Night at the theatre; Jesus Christ Superstar

Last night Silas took me to see Jesus Christ Superstar, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was the first Broadway show I'd ever seen live, and this particular show was traveling with Ted Neeley who played Christ in the 1974 film version of the show, so it was a special treat! It was playing at the Benedum theatre, downtown, and the place is absolutely stunning. We sat in the very last row in the balcony and could still hear and see everything going on perfectly.

The show takes place during the week leading up to Jesus's crucifixion and is narrated, in large part, by the character of Judas. This adds and interesting twist as the literary device "Unreliable narrator", where the narrator lies to the audience, is employed most effectually in this show. Other interesting characters in the show are Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, King Herod, Pilate, and Caiaphas. All played traditionally, and yet, not so traditionally.

One of my favorite scenes from the show is when the pharisees get together to decide "What shall we do about Jesus of Nazareth. Miracle wonderman, hero of fools." I'll share it with you:

As many times as I've heard and read the story of Jesus, which is really quite alot since I've grown up in a Christian home, I am always moved anew when confronted with the pure selflessness that Jesus showed to me by dying to save my soul. This selflessness and submitting to the will of the Father come through very strongly in this show.

Another theme that Jesus Christ Superstar brings up again and again is how no one seemed to understand what Jesus was trying to do. Judas, especially, is confused by Jesus's actions. He blames Jesus for his disillusionment with what he thought was going to be a great cause for the Jewish people. I was reminded again how God's ways are not my ways.

Overall the show takes a few liberties and it does not include the resurrection. It ends after Jesus's death, which is, of course incomplete. But at the same time I think that's just the part of the story that this show covers, as it also leaves out the greater part of his ministry. But I think there are also many redeeming qualities of the show.

Anyway, Silas and I had a great time and I left thinking about my Jesus's sacrifice for me and what I owe him in return.


  1. I had understood that Jesus Christ Superstar blasphemed Jesus by saying he was a homosexual.

  2. I assure you this is not the case. Herod is portrayed in this show as slightly "off" but Jesus is in no way portrayed as gay.

  3. I saw the more recent version of the movie (late '90s - early 2000s I think?) and I remember it having an amazing soundtrack. I love seeing real Broadway shows! Glad you had such a great time and it was so thought-provoking for you as well :)


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