BWW Blog: You Never Forget Your First Time - How JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Changed My Life
I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was the first time I had ever seen a real Broadway musical. On that same day, I would metaphorically meet a composer that would define my young mind and early thoughts on what a musical is.
It is the year of 2002; December and as is in most Decembers in South Texas instead of the cold winters of New York City, it was the rich vibrant sun that greeted people as they walked the streets of San Antonio. I was ten years old and I remember sitting in the back of my parents' car knowing that we were going to the fabled Majestic Theatre. I had been before. The parents had taken us to see "Elmo's Coloring Book" when I was younger but this time would be completely different. The musical was Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar." When I say this to people it is usually met with a groan, but for me I will always remember it. Also I am glad this was my first versus something awful like... cough cough "Flashdance."
For this ten year old "Jesus Christ Superstar" (JCS) played a huge part in my life. My mother was a huge Andrew Lloyd Webber (ALW) fan and growing up we listened to JCS and other of ALW hits while cleaning or doing other activities around the house. My parents are from that time in the world where Disco was King and The Beatles were the foundation. For me, JCS wasn't just a musical but some of the greatest songs ever to blend with the likes of ABBA and the Bee Gees.
My young self was amazed by seeing it live. From the time it started to the final crescendo of Superstar I was flabbergasted. The music, the lights, the set, the actors, the rhythmic dancing, and how they were telling the story. The production that was touring through our town was based on the 2001 Revival production, which many now consider to be a flop but for me leaving the theater I was in awe. I remember leaving the theater and as we passed by the merchandise stand, my parents bought both my brother and me a shirt, a poster, and the DVD, which was a great way of taking those memories with us.
I finally felt that I had met Andrew Lloyd Webber, not the actual physical man himself but how he expressed himself through the music he created. For the present, I will bring up Sir Andrew a lot but for right now I digress. I would see JCS again in 2009 with another touring production of the show but this time it seemed more that the show was based on the original Broadway production versus a revival. I had learned previously there were many protests when JCS first opened on Broadway and I kept looking outside making sure that the nuns of my grade school were not out protesting like some had reportedly were way back in the 70s.
After a while, JCS fell off my radar. As I began to discover the world of musical theater, I began to realize all the beauty and wonder that can be created from them. Then in the spring of 2012 on our trip to New York City, a new production opened on Broadway. It was crazy when I came to realize that it was ten years later. I was 20 at time and I was in NYC. It was amazing to think how ten years had come and gone. So what is the reason for the post? Well my past posts have been kind of all over the place and while I'm still going to talk about random shows I've seen and loved, I'd also like to talk about those ten years from 2002-2012 how theater has both challenged what I believed and how I grew to love the art form. JCS was what started me and I'm always grateful to my parents for that first taste of theater and even more grateful that they didn't raise me and my brother like typical kids taking us to the "Lion King" or something childish, but showed us something that was life changing. As they always say, you never forget your first time.