Back in university I’d heard the music but it wasn’t until the Man confessed his great love for Jesus Christ Superstar that I finally sat down to watch the production. I think if it ran in the city at some ponit I’d certainly consider spending the money for a ticket.
A new cast is in the works in the UK and Australian atheist and comedian is getting the headlines as the pick for Judas.
He will join the pop singer Nicole Scherzinger, playing Mary Magdalene, in an arena tour of the musical by Lord Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice which will open at London’s O2 arena this summer.
The character of Jesus will be cast via a television talent competition next month, where contestants will compete for the lead role in the musical telling the story of Christ’s final week.
The television show has been criticised by Sir Tim, who wrote the musical’s lyrics and has described plans to ask a panel of celebrity judges and public voters to pick the “next Jesus” as “tasteless” and “tacky”.
I don’t watch much in the way of television shows, let alone the talent related programs. I don’t know if I’m prepared to agree or disagree with Sir Tim, though. Audiences have grown used to seeing the process of elimination in action and having a front row view of both the new-found fame for the winner and heart-aching misery of those who fail. Maybe they’d be more likely to purchase a ticket to the show itself if they got to be part of the story that star will later tell, too.
Sure, it’s not classy but neither is the music, man. The lyrics and score don’t hearken an audience back to the good old days of 18th century opera. It’s a modern rock “opera” featuring the death of Jesus as performed by gyrating pop stars. Why wouldn’t people look to reality TV to cast such a show?
Time marches on.