Jesus Christ Superstar
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Luke Brown*
Jan. 16-31, 2015
The greatest rock-opera ever created, Jesus Christ Superstar has enthralled audiences since its historic and contentious Broadway opening in 1971. Based on the gospel accounts of Jesus’ final days, it is the first musical of its kind to question the divine nature of Jesus Christ. Thrilling audiences as much as it ignites debate, Jesus Christ Superstar contains some of the most memorable music of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s career—energetic, bold rock ‘n’ roll with a vocal score that is as epic as the story it tells.
Approximate running time with an intermission: 2 hours, 10 minutes
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.
I was 14 when I was introduced to Jesus Christ Superstar. On a Friday night trip to the video store with my dad (yes, I was popular then too…) I came across a copy of the Norman Jewison film. I was skeptical about anything related to Jesus, but reluctantly agreed to take it home – if for no reason other than a group of popular kids had entered the video store and I needed to get out quickly.
Bear in mind that prior to watching the film, the only exposure I had to musical theatre were shows like Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story. As far as I was concerned, those shows were all that music theatre was and ever would be. With that opening guitar riff, though, I was completely hooked. As the film unfolded two things dawned on me: 1) theatre could be cool and 2) I didn’t pay attention in church. I kept turning to my father saying, “Now if THAT was in the bible I would pay attention on Sundays”! Monday at school, I explained to my friends that “this musical about Jesus was pretty awesome!” After some skeptical looks, I decided to keep this passion to myself. As I grew up, though, I discovered other people whose first exposure to the show was the first time that theatre meant anything to them. I was not alone.
Approaching the show as a director, I searched for a way to make it relevant today. How would a person claiming to be the Son of God and challenging authority be treated today? In a world where a young woman is shot for wanting to learn and a band is jailed for criticizing the government, it’s hard to believe that events would turn out any differently today. One day while stuck in traffic due to a protest march, my mind started to race. As I watched the angry 20-somethings desperately tried to draw attention to their cause I couldn’t help but notice the cops watching in the distance, prepared to jump in if someone crossed the line. I also noticed people passing by them, impatient with disdain, myself included. Would Jesus and his followers have looked any different than these kids in the park?
Three Week Run
Week 1: Fri. and Sat. at 8 pm
Week 2: Wed. to Sat. at 8 pm
Week 3: Wed. to Sat. at 8 pm and Sat. at 2 pm
Postshow Talkbacks: Sat., Jan. 17 and Thurs., Jan. 22, 2015
Preshow Artist Chat: Sat., Jan. 31 at 1 pm
Adults: $28 / Seniors: $17 / Students: $15
$10 Student tickets every Wednesday
$17 Alumni tickets every Thursday
www.uofttix.ca / 416.978.8849
Hart House Theatre offers student matinees at the low price of $15 per student, and complementary tickets for teachers and chaperones.
Tentatively scheduled performances:
Tues., Jan. 27 at 12 pm
Please note: a later curtain time may be available upon request
For more information and to book a performance please call the Box Office at 416.978.8849.