To some baby Jesus is their favorite, to others its the swole carpenter Jesus and for a ton its Jesus up on a cross. But for you folks loving Jesus with a guitar than Jesus Christ Superstar is your favorite savior. Is the singing messiah worth your time? Here is my full review of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at BROADAWAY DALLAS.
Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.
With music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.
Before the Christ lets give a shout out to Broadway Dallas. Yup the organization formally known as Dallas Summer Musicals has pulled a Prince like change. Instead of a cool symbol we are now going to watch our big touring musicals at BROADWAY DALLAS!! So right out the gate your admission to this show not only gives you a rebranding but a resurrection. Not exactly a Holy Trinity but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
The 50th Anniversary Tour of the beloved musical is in Big D through April 17th. The 90-minute, without an intermission, production seems like the perfect choice as it is a raucous crowd pleasing story we’re all pretty familiar. The plot is set up nicely in your Sunday school readings but basically is the final days of Jesus on the earth. Even from the beginning we know our main villain character, a fella named Judas. Omar Lopez-Cepero delivers a strong performance as the silver loving betrayer of G-d’s only forgotten son. The drastic difference between Omar and Aaron LaVigne’s Jesus is a nice physical difference helping add to their falling out as besties.
LaVigne’s quiet opening half of the production is totally transformed by the conclusion as his powerful singing and physicality are the real showcase of this production. Not sure if his portrayal is up their with Jeff Fenholt (Broadway) or Paul Nicholas (West End) original takes and certainly not Ted Neeley in Jewison’s film adaptation. Nonetheless, Aaron really carries himself well throughout and his glitter-soaked body at the end has battled on for your worthy applause. Alvin Crawford’s booming Caiaphas is a real stand out and owns his numbers.
The production of course fits in nicely with your early Easter fun and it’s pacing should keep the entire family entertained. This production does have a lovely set with its wood cross structure really giving the cast a ton to work around. I think the kids will be as giddy as I was when the lit up walking staffs popped up in a few numbers. The staff game in this production is maybe its real secret weapon. Whether its Caiaphas and his crew or the entire cast swinging their wooden lightsabers throughout Jerusalem you can’t help but smile. Contrasting their grays and brown attire throughout these glowing orbs help fully illuminate the stage.
As Broadway Dallas looks to show off their new digs, even if the hall seems EXACTLY the same, it is fitting for a heaven sent production to kick off the rebranding. 1st year of the new name, 50th anniversary of Jesus Christ Superstar, 3 plus millennium worth of plot and all in 90 minutes of fun. Sounds good for this Jewish reviewer.
Bob your head to the kick ass music too. Thanks Andrew Lloyd Webber.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR runs through April 17th.
For all the information and much more check out BROADWAY DALLAS.