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Jesus Christ Superstar - Broadway

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera returns to Broadway.


What Is the story of Jesus Christ Superstar?
Jesus Christ Superstar will be familiar, in basic fact, to anyone with knowledge of western religion. Borrowing from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the musical tells the story of the last seven days of Jesus Christ’s life. As the show opens, apostle Judas Iscariot is growing concerned that Jesus’ followers will be perceived as a threat to the occupying Roman Empire. Indeed, priests Caiaphas, Annas and more gather and agree that Jesus and his movement must be crushed. An exalted Jesus arrives in Jerusalem only to find the temple filled with unsavory merchants and money lenders. Overrun by a flood of people needing his help, he tells them to heal themselves, and his confidante Mary Magdalene has to calm him down. Judas, fearing the movement is getting out of Jesus’ control, goes to the Romans and tells them Jesus will be in the Garden of Gethsemane the following night. He receives 30 pieces of silver as payment. At the Garden, Judas arrives with Roman soldiers and identifies Jesus by kissing him on the cheek. Jesus is arrested and sent to Caiaphas, then Pontius Pilate and finally King Herod, who condemns his to death on the cross.

Should I See It?

What is Jesus Christ Superstar like?
As one of the earliest rock operas, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar is a completely sung-through piece and reflects a ’70s musical sensibility. Numbers runs the gamut from high-wailing rock anthems like Judas’ “Heaven on Their Minds” to more folky-rock ballads like Mary’s “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”  The single, industrial-looking set features a scrolling LED banner that counts down the days for the audience, and gives the feeling of watching the events unfold through a CNN-like lens. The show was originally conceived to have many modern-day elements, so while Jesus wears the expected flowing white robes, costumes range from bondage-esque numbers in the Temple scene to Roman soldiers that have the look of heavily armored commandos.  

Is Jesus Christ Superstar Good for kids?
Though the love triangle between Jesus, Judas and Mary is emphasized more in this production than in previous incarnations, it’s kept emotional and not physical so everything is strictly PG. The sound of Jesus being whipped at the end is certainly difficult to take, but nothing about the onstage violence is overtly graphic.