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Entries in Jesus Christ Superstar (4)

Sunday
Apr 01 2018

Beauty Break: He is Risen

Did you loveJesus Christ Superstar Live!?John Legend was in spectacular voice as Jesus and kudos also to Tony nominee (and one of my favorite Broadway stars) Norm Lewis as Caiaphas.But the scene stealer of the night was Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon who stole the show as Judas Iscariot.He was a glittering reminder,particularly in disco chainmail in the closing fantasy sequence (since Judas had already committed suicide),that live performing is a unique skill set.Imagine your average movie star trying to keep up that much physical and emotional energy for two plus hours while leaping around a stage and singing at the top of their lungs.If anything Dixon's energy only grew as the night wore on.Just stunning.(I'm not talking about his body,but that too.)

ThoughJesus Christ Superstar!was in some ways an odd dated musical choice for a mainstream family event (it's not remotely 'funny' for one)  it was the best produced "Live"musical since that became an annual thing.The set design and direction were amazing,culminating in a major wow of a finale.Still don't love the Andrew Lloyd Webber score and can't fathom why people doing the orchestrations for Lloyd Webber revivals never think to subvert the oh-so-70s electric guitar sound (also a weird issue with the 1996Evitamovie) but you can't have everything.

Since this particular production had all kinds of gorgeous men in fine voice and equally fine body,let's end this Easter weekend sharing photos of the hottest men to have ever played Jesus in the movies or on television before John Legend's go at it.The gallery is after the jump...

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Wednesday
May 10 2017

Jesus Christ,It's time to play "Cast This!" again

By Nathaniel R

Paul Nolan as Jesus in the most recent Broadway revival (2012)This just in:NBC is prepping its fifth live musical for April 2018.Their firstSound of Musicwas a mixed bag quality-wise but a giant ratings hit.Since then they've had two critical and ratings successes (The WizandHairspray) and one failure (Peter Pan).The fifth will be Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's rock operaJesus Christ Superstar.It's made frequent regular appearances on stages all over the world since its debut in 1970.It even had a Golden Globe nominated film version in 1973 directed by Norman Jewison who was,at the time,a very hot commodity having recently made three best picture players:The Russians are Coming!The Russians are Coming!(1966,not a sci-fi time travelling movie about the current US government),In the Heat of the Night(1967) and the Best Picture nomineeFiddler on the Roof(1971).

No casting has been announced but they're said to be seeking "authentic recording artists."What does that even mean...?

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Monday
Feb 22 2016

Beauty Break: Douglas Slocombe, Cinematographer

Douglas Slocombe (1913-2016)Sad news to report.The former "oldest living Oscar nominee"cinematographerDouglas Slocombedied today just two weeks after his 103rd birthday.(If you're curious that makes the goddessOlivia de Havilland,who turns 100 this July,the oldest living Oscar nomineeorwinner)

Imagine shooting the boulder-roll opening sequence ofRaiders of the Lost Arkor lighting its snake pit scene with torches!Douglas Slocombe did it.His other two nominations sprang from far more feminine pictures,the Jane Fonda Best Picture nomineeJulia(1977.Also: Meryl Streep's film debut!) and the Maggie Smith vehicleTravels With My Aunt(1972).

More on his iimpressive career and some images from key filmsafter the jump...

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Monday
Jul 28 2014

1973 Look Back: Biblical Musicals

Our celebration of 1973 continues with Andrew on Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar

In 1970 John-Michael Tebelak was completing work on his master's thesis project about Jesus Christ at Carnegie Mellon University.Before long he would pair up with musician and lyricist Stephen Schwartz and in May of 1971 the musicalGodspellwould officially begin playing.Around the same time,Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were finalising work on a rock album,a concept musical of sorts,on the last ten days of Jesus' life.The album would be released in the fall of 1970,and one year laterJesus Christ Superstar,the musical developed from the soundtrack,would open on Broadway.By some weird happenstance the fates of the two Jesus musicals would be tied*.Two years later,the two musicals (both moderate hits on stage by that time) saw screen adaptations released in 1973.

One religious stage-musical adapted to the big screen is a curiosity;two religious film musicals – both of them from recent stage hits -  in a single year is fascinating.Two religious film musicals in the same year from recent stage hits which both cover,generally,the same subject?Too intriguing to ignore.

Two Jesus musicals,two very different Jesuses.More...

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