Monday, 5 January 2009

Jesus Christ Superstar- something more than ALW crap?

I’m supposed to be revising for some majorily horrible exams this holiday and so Youtube is becoming my best (procrastinating) friend. For some reason I’ve become addicted to watching Jesus Christ Superstar, not the seventies Ted Neeley version ( I can’t stand those hideous purple tank tops the Romans wear) but the Glenn Carter millennium edition. This shouldn’t be happening as I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber but for some reason I actually like JSC, well this version anyway. I think it’s because I actually like Glenn Carter’s portrayal and may have a slight crush on both him and Tony Vincent (so I’m guessing they’re both homosexuals then).I’m in love with the way Carter’s Jesus could actually be a real person, bar a bit of overacting every so often. He doesn’t want to do what God has in store for him but is resigned to the fact that he will suffer. He also isn’t afraid to show Jesus’ weaknesses. IMDB told me that Glenn Carter wanted to portray Jesus as some sort of Political figure rather than the usual rock star that Neeley and others (such as Sebastian Bach) have based their Jesus’s on.
So this got me thinking about how I would stage Jesus Christ Superstar. I’d never thought I’d want to direct that show but I had a sudden idea that would be interesting to try. What about if Jesus was actually a political leader such as Barack Obama before he became the president elect? Jesus is always a long haired dude in baggy white clothes but what if he was a slick guy in a suit with Judas as a mole from the opposition? Of course, this situation wouldn’t happen in modern day America (I hope) but not that long ago there were still race riots and people being killed for the colour of their skin (ooh yeah black Jesus- controversial!). And if not America, then what about the ex-Soviet countries that are still adjusting to Democracy? The more I watch it, the more I see how this could work- the Romans as the existing government so desperate to stay in power that they would torture the opposition, the church as co-conspirators and his apostles as his campaign team.
Wow, I’ve basically tried to intellectualise Andrew Lloyd Webber, well if Craig Revel Horwood can add artistic integrity to Lord Lloyd Webber perhaps there is hope for British musical theatre after all.

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