Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jesus Christ Superstar

During Holy Week last month, I decided to restart a family tradition that we had when my father was alive: we watched Jesus Christ Superstar together. I think it's a good approach to getting the kids to watch something religious by showing something entertaining. It worked for my dad when we were kids so might as well give it a shot with the niece and nephew this time around.

My niece and nephews were introduced to the musical (the movie featuring Ted Neeley and Yvonne Elliman) and I shared with them my favorite memories of watching the movie with their grandfather.

I remember watching this movie in high school and having my classmates giving me surprised looks because I was quietly singing along in my seat while we watched the movie -- I couldn't help it because I have been listening to the songs on my father's record player and I've been watching the movie since I was a young girl!

I think the musical is a good way to retell the story of Jesus through a medium that many people would appreciate. After all, music is a universal language.

Every song in the musical is amazing, but my favorite would have to be Could We Start Again Please, sung by Mary Magdalene and Peter. I have always felt that it was such a moving song about wanting to have Jesus back in their lives when they lost him. I think it's something that I felt that anyone would feel if they were in the place of these people at that point in their lives. To be living and having Jesus with them in their lives and to have him taken away...the pain that the song conveys is just too good not to appreciate.

Recently a live concert version of the musical was performed on TV in the US that starred John Legend as Jesus and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene. While it felt different to watch it as a live performance after being used to the movie for so long, it was still refreshing to see it performed differently.

I've read a lot of comments about how John Legend was not powerful enough of a performer to play the role of Jesus. I have to admit it was a bit difficult to take away the image of him as an R&B singer out of your head while you're watching him perform but he still did a good job. The only off thing I can say about him was that he has such a nice, sweet face that just didn't seem to fit the role, something that can't be helped because that's just how the guy looks.

As much as I enjoyed the live version, I still loved the movie version better. That will always be a classic for me. The voices from that version will always be what I would want to hear for the songs in that musical.

I feel bad that the tour that was supposed to star Brandon Boyd and feature JC Chasez as King Herod did not push through, I would have wanted to see what that version would have looked like if they made it happen. I wonder if they can still make it happen now that they are considering a tour again.

Photo Credit: Jesus Christ Superstar Movie and Musical Official Facebook Pages, Pixabay

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