Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jesus Christ. You superstar.

Little Boozle

The last (and only) time I saw a production of Jesus Christ Superstar was in 1992.
The cast covered a good whack of the Who's Who of Australian music at that time.
...John Farnham, Kate Ceberano, Jon Stevens, Angry Anderson...

I was 23 at the time and I was a Uni student.
And, to be honest, I don't remember what I felt about it
(either due to the passage of time
or the fact that there are great big blocks of time at University
that I don't remember)
but I do know that I didn't feel what I felt when I saw the 2013 version last week.

Little Boozle

I hadn't listened to the soundtrack for years
and JCSS has not been on my list of favourite musicals.

But I am a Tim Minchin fan
and yes, OK, I did want to see what Andrew O'Keefe was going to do.

If I had to own up to having a favourite Spice Girl,
it would be Mel C.
(The one who could actually sing)

Plus I was interested to see if Ben Forster lived up to the hype around his portrayal of Jesus.


And wow.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.Wow. Wow.

By the time Jesus was getting his hot forehead anointed with myrrh by Mary Magdalene,
the production of Wicked that I saw last year has dropped from first place to runner-up
in my list of best. ever. musical productions.

It is set in modern times
(think reality shows, text voting, graffiti and hashtags for Jesus and his supporters,
CCTV cameras and mobile phones)
and is very clever.
It reminded me of Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of  Romeo and Juliet.


We "only" had Forster's understudy, Rory Taylor,
who was "only" just brilliant.

Tim Minchin may not be the world's best singer 
but his voice was fantastic in this role
and the passion and emotion of Judas was breath-taking.
(Added to that he can carry off heavy eye makeup like no other man I know)

(And for anyone who is interested,
Andrew O'Keefe's role involved a single song
and a crushed velvet red suit.

(And for anyone who is interested,
Jon Stevens is ageing well. Very, very well)

I would go and see it again in a heartbeat.
And again.
And again.


I haven't stopped playing the soundtrack since I saw it.
To think that Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber wrote this 
when they were under 25...the mind boggles.
I am not quite sure why I didn't appreciate how bloody good it was before.
Maybe a long-haired John Farnham just didn't engage me.

In the past week, I have thought more about the story of Jesus and Judas
than I have since I completed my First Holy Communion in my teens.
Even though the ending is...well, let's say somewhat predictable,
whether you have religious beliefs or not,
the story of frailty and betrayal and the desperation
of the characters will move you.


bec said...

I'M SO EXCITED I'M GOING TOMORROW AND AM EVEN MORE EXCITED NOW I HAVE READ THIS!!! I LOVE the 1992 soundtrack (didnt get to see it, but listen a lot). Sigh. Jon Stevens.

Karen said...

I loved this show too - another Tim Minchin fan here - and we didn't have Andrew O'Keefe - which I wasn't disappointed about!!
The way they changed the setting for the story to make it current was amazing - I was blown away by it too.