It is said that a glimpse of God will save you, to gaze at him will sanctify you, but to be entertained… that is truly divine intervention. “Jesus Christ Superstar” (essentially a rock concert/opera) is coming to the Pantages from December 26th-31st. Get ready for revolution, revelation and reinvention in of all places, the city of Angels!
This tour marks the 50th anniversary of this exemplary, heavenly musical production. It is a vocal powerhouse that depicts the cult-like attitude of Jesus’ followers. The musical captures the inner turmoil of Jesus exquisitely as he struggles to fulfill his duty to God, all the while questioning the sacrifices he must endure to fulfill God’s plan.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” was originally created as an album musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics) in 1970, meant to depict the last two weeks of the life of Jesus Christ from the time he entered Jerusalem until his Crucifixion. In October 1971, it was turned into a rock opera by producer Tom O’Horgan and had 711 performances on Broadway.
Before the musical “Cats” came along, “Jesus Christ Superstar” was the longest-running musical at the West End Theater in London having played for eight straight years. In 1993, the musical was turned into a film. A second adaptation was created and it was debuted in 1999.
Thanks to Timothy Sheader, the musical was updated to be more appealing to the modern age and given the more rock concert feel that it embodies today.
Obviously, as with any religious portrayal, it is not without controversy or criticism. But that just may lead to the rock opera appeal. After all, it explores the age-old debate of good versus evil while exploring the meaning of humanity and moral obligations.
The musical starts off depicting how Judas Iscariot, one of the original 12 Apostles, is worried about the increased followers that Jesus is getting and how it will lead to a disrupt in the Roman Empire. The other Apostles eagerly ask Jesus about his plans and entry into Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene enters the scene and Judas cautions Jesus to stay away from her due to her sinful nature. Jesus chastises Judas and reminds him that one should not judge others unless they are completely sin free. Judas is unhappy with some of Jesus’ actions; coincidentally, the High Priest of Israel feels similar to Judas and creates a movement to execute Jesus.
Jesus and his followers finally make their entrance into Jerusalem. Simon the Zealot is there and tries to convince Jesus to attack Rome, but Jesus declines. Once Jesus arrives at the Temple, he is angered with how it’s being forsaken and cleanses the Temple. Jesus is upset and tired at this point and so Mary Magdalene sings him to sleep, realizing she is in love with him.
Act II starts off with the Passover meal Jesus holds with his disciples. During the feast, Jesus berates the attendees for their lack of caring and predicts one of the disciples will betray him.
Jesus is feeling overwhelmed and angry. He prays and questions the plan of God, ultimately deciding to surrender to God’s will and face his imminent death…
The cast consists of Jack Hopewell as Jesus Christ; Elvie Ellis as Judas Iscariot; Faith Jones as Mary Magdalene; Isaac Ryckeghem as Joseph ben Caiaphas and Nicholas Hambrunch as Pontius Pilate and Kodiak Thompson as Annas.
This is a divine must see experience at the Pantages. Catch it while you can, tickets are available now.