Monday, April 09, 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar

We saw it.
We loved it.
We watched him die and then rise from the dead.
Singing the whole time.


It was the night before Easter and all through the house
Not a savior was stirring, I just have to grouse,
The eggs were not dyed, nor was ham in the air,
We went and got twofers, at the booth in Times Square

I’ll stop now because it is 3AM and I have to drag my tired lapsed ass to bed.

(Can something that never really was be lapsed?)

Okay, I have to drag my familial historical Catholic ass to bed.

But before I do, let me say this—

These wacky talented Canadians, via La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Des McAnuff, most of them making their Broadway debuts, were frigging fabulous.

The set was like the inside of a black and silver Motorola Android phone. Big on the Superstar part. Jesus countdown news crawling across a horizontal crawler (in lights, you know, like news)…fun as hell. (As heaven?)

Jesus played it all caged animal-like.

Judas was played by the understudy. Amazing voice.

Jesus, too---amazing singer.

Mary M, not as well.

I loved this music as a kid and I still do. It’s modern chords, with rock music and it’s sort of nasty good crucifixion fun.

As Joan Didion penned, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

At the end of the play, the words of the Gospels, lit up, crawled all over the set, moving across so you could almost read them, filling the walls. Like, this Jesus death set the tongue waggers on fire. It was powerful, moving. Not just for the Gospels but because, fundamentally, people must write and say so much stuff in order to craft their way out of the madness.

But moving away from Joan and Jesus, really---it’s about the music. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (Who once asked a friend, “Why do people take an immediate dislike to me?” and the friend answered, “Because it saves time.”)—Sir A.L.W., in my opinion, wrote his best music here, mostly because the chords here are closer and the rhythm structures more contrapuntal than in anything else he has put together.

Jesus be damned, I like a good rock opera. Ann Margaret rolling in beans, what-have-you…


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