Smash Hit Musicals of the Past Century: Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar was a hit long before it became a musical. The musical was a rock opera concept recording produced as an album before it was staged on Broadway. It is based loosely on the Gospels’ story on the last week of Jesus Christ’s life showing the struggles between Judas and Jesus. The story follows Judas who is not please with Jesus’ rise in popularity because Judas believes Jesus is just a man, not a God and that Jesus being a threat to the Roman Empire will bring trouble to Jesus, his followers and to Judas. Judas eventually ends up giving away the location of Jesus on a specific day helping the Roman soldiers find him and go forth to crucify him. The original production of the Broadway show was back in 1971. It was composed by the ever famous Andrew Lloyd Webber and the lyricist was Tim Rice. The show was directed by Tim O’Horgan and choreographed by Tom Stovall. The producer was Robert Stigwood. The original city for the performance was New York City at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. The original set designer is Robin Wagner and the original costume designer is Randy Barcelo. The four main characters were Mary Magdalene played by Yvonne Elliman, Jesus Christ played by Jeff Fenholt, Judas played by Ben Vereen and King Herod/Merchant/Leper played by Paul Ainsley. The four most well known songs from this musical include “Superstar”, “Simon Zealot Poor Jerusalem”, “Gethsemane” and “Everything’s Alright”. The show first opened on October 12th, 1971 and closed on July 1, 1973 with a total of 711 performances within that time. The length of the show was approximately an hour and fifty five minutes. The setting of the musical is Jerusalem, house of herod, garden of Gethsemane and many other places during the time Christ was thought to have lived and was preaching the message of God. There were mixed reponses from critics but the loudest were those that though the show went against religious...
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