Another item crossed off my bucket list – to see Jesus Christ Superstar musical.
I’ve actually seen the show once before, but I was so small that I barely remember. And it was in Russian.
As a Christmas present, my mom got us all tickets to see the show put on by a local theatre in small town, just over an hour outside of Toronto – Port Hope, ON. My baby brother flew in from BC for a bit, so it was a perfect opportunity to some family time.
As we are taking our seats, I start skimming the program. “To bring this show to the stage, we could have taken the usual “classic” route…”
“Uh-oh”, I think.
“… but we chose to bring our audience a modern interpretation.”
“We challenged the actors to bring Jesus and some of his ideas into the world of modern commerce.”
“I’m afraid this is going to be really bad”, I catch myself thinking.
Enter Jay Sea Tech. I kid you not.
JC, CEO and co-founder, is currently in an ongoing conflict with his former partner… Judas. The singers had a multitude of cell phones, Blackberries, iPads and the like. Facebook event was flashed onto the backscreen. So was Twitter.
How was the show?
Perfectly mediocre. Not that there is anything wrong with it. And I enjoyed it immensely. Just like sometimes you enjoy a mediocre bowl of Chinese food, perfect in its predictability. Or a drunken rendition of your favorite song from a neighbor, delivering both nostalgia and humour in one tune.
Funny enough, they dropped the commerce angle pretty quickly. By the end of the second act, JC was sporting a crown of thorns, and little else. And nobody was tweeting the crucifixion itself.
Jesus earned a solid B- for his title solo, while Judas failed the class. Although Judas got A for effort (which made the actual singing even more painful to endure). Now, here’s a thought: If Jesus Christ goes by JC, what would Judas go by? Judy? Jude? Jay?
For those not familiar with the musical, when I say title solo, I am referring to Gethsemane. This is one of my most favorite songs of all time, along with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. Gethsemane is a garden in Jerusalem, known as the place where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before the crucifixion, and serves as a true climax of the musical. If it does not give you goosebumps, you must be dead.
Here’s my favorite production by far – Glenn Carter is magnificent. On every level. [The actual song starts at about 1:40]
Physical attractiveness seems to be a must for Jesus – all the singers who I have seen play Jesus can compete with each other for a Calvin Klein ad. They’d have to lose the robes, of course.
Pontius Pilate was a gorgeous (female) redhead, which I thought was a nice twist.
The chemistry between Jesus and Mary was anything but pure. In fact, I think these two made out while off stage.
After Jesus was crucified, the lights went out, and his lifeless body was carried off stage in the dark. That was it. Was I wrong to expect the actors to come out and take a bow? Or would that be too festive given the whole crucifixion thing?
The stage at the end of the show:
After the show, back at our guesthouse, my father proceeded to present a compare-and-contract analysis of the title solo, against other productions from the past – five of them, in two different languages. Needless to say, I am a little JC’d out for the time being.
All in all, it was a great weekend. And we won gold!
But… if you hear of another JCS production taking place, do give me a shout, will ya?
Yours in Christ (or something like that), Solo