Friday, March 30, 2018 – Jesus Christ, Superstar! I Only Want to Know
Who’s ready to watch Jesus Christ, Superstar on NBC on Sunday night?
I am and I can’t wait. I am sure my Mother is appalled as she once in 1971 when the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock musical appeared on Broadway. Of course, it could have been I came home from college that Easter wearing a T-shirt that read: “Jesus is coming and boy is He pissed.”
The Wikipedia article states, “The Broadway show and subsequent productions were condemned by some religious groups. Tim Rice was quoted as saying “It happens that we don’t see Christ as God but simply the right man at the right time at the right place.”
Some Christians considered such comments to be blasphemous, the character of Judas too sympathetic and some of his criticisms of Jesus offensive At the same time, some Jews claimed that it bolstered the anti-Semitic belief that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death by showing most of the villains as Jewish (Caiaphas and the other priests, Herod) and showing the crowd in Jerusalem calling for the crucifixion. The musical was banned in South Africa for being “irreligious.” A 1972 production of the play was banned in the Hungarian People’s Republic for “distribution of religious propaganda.”
The original production had few spoken words. If I understand correctly the new version has none. No words. What an irony. A musical about The Word with no words.
That was then and this is now. What will the social media say about this version? “Israel in 4 BC had no mass communications.”
Turn up the speakers and sing along. Warm up the vocal chords for Sunday evening.