Monday, May 05, 2008

Jesus Christ Superstar

On Sunday night, I had a convergence of three HUGE interests of mine: Broadway, Pop Phenomenon, and Theology.

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar. I love that show. I saw it 15ish years ago, with Ted Neeley as Jesus. Ted Neeley plays Jesus in the 1973 film. This tour is being referred to as the "Ted Neeley Farewell Tour." When I saw him in high school , he sounded tired. Last night, he sounded AMAZING. Corey Glover played Judas. Corey Glover was the lead singer of Living Colour. He was amazing as well.

Such a good show.

I got so much more out of the show now than I did 15 years ago. For starters, I now have 6 years of formal theological education under my belt. I'm also older (and hopefully) wiser.

I saw the show with my friend Erica. She had never seen the show before. She talked with her mother before coming and picking me up. Her mother was asking about controversy surrounding the show, specifically the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus.

When I saw it before, I didn't like the Mary/Jesus relationship. I also didn't like the songs that Mary gets to sing (Everything's Alright and I Don't Know How to Love Him). Being smarter and wiser I get it now.

Webber/Rice wrote the show with the understanding that Mary was a woman of ill repute. (In Luke, Jesus exorcises seven demons, but there is no proof of this.)
I Don't Know How to Love Him is sung with Jesus and Mary on stage. Jesus is asleep.
Mary is trying to figure out what she's been experiencing while she's been around Jesus. She explains that Jesus is unlike any man she has ever met. She also wonders what she should do and how she should react.

Webber/Rice fully captured the angst that Mary and the other disciples could have felt, knowing that Jesus was something special and different.

Had I been there what would I have done? How would I have felt?

I tried to find a video of this song, and I couldn't find one on my very short search. I did find the Tony Award performance from 2000.

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