Jesus Christ: Superstar

DofB5
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Jesus Christ: Superstar#0
Posted: 1/18/04 at 8:44pm
I was lucky to go and see this today at the Tampabay Performing Arts Center.

I literally bought the last available ticket for the show which turned out to be in the balcony.

I looked into the orchestra pit and was very surprised to only see seven people there! 3 guitar players, 3 keyboard players and the drummer. I’m guessing the keyboards made all the sounds I found that somewhat disappointing.

Having seen the show before, I thought I knew exactly what to expect but this must have been a new staging of it with different costumes then I remember. I loved the long swishy coats some of the men wore.

Some the words to the songs were somewhat different as well.

The set was a simple set of stairs with a catwalk between two columns that they used to great advantage. Like for the Temple scene, they dropped tote boards like the stock market and when
Herod had his song, they dropped his name, all in lights and the stairs lit up as well. When Jesus was in prison, they dropped prison bars over the cat walk and the scene where Judas commits suicide was interesting as well.

Jesus was played by Eric Kunze who did an outstanding job. I watched his version of Gethsemane very closely and was not disappointed. He had the punch on the right words which is what I have said before about other versions of the song. I’m beginning to wonder if singing the song in a concert is considered different than singing it in a play. It seems the emotions are different but that just might be me.

I would tell you about the great body and handsome face Jesus had but that might be considered the wrong thing to do. I might wind up in Hades if I did tell you that because one should not lust after Jesus. So consider yourself not told. Is it warm in here or is it just me? Anyway, my only problem with him was his hair which was very long and silky looking and he kept running his hands through it. After a time it drove me nuts. At least he wasn’t a quick draw Jesus with a mike in a holster under his arm.

I also greatly enjoyed “Could We Start Again Please” which was choreographed to show the beatings he took in prison in slow motion. Very, very well done but I have such a hard time watching that kind of thing. Even if it is a play, I had to keep a firm hand myself because I wanted them to stop hurting him. I know, he wasn’t really hurt but I get involved in the story and wanted to leep onto the stage and take that whip away or at the very least, yell, "Stop it!" at the top of my lungs.

Mary Magadalene was played by Natalie Toro who had a wonderful sweet voice. Very, very nice and I would like to see her again someday.

Other stand outs were Pontius Pilate/Stephen Breithaupt, Judas/Lawrence Clayton and I have to say, Catiaphas/Lawson Skala who had a voice so deep it sounded like it was coming from his toes. I swear he looked like Ming the Merciless from “Flash Gorden”. The kicker was (and I’m very sorry I don’t know the character name so I can’t name the actor) the one priest was the total opposite of him. He was a short, bald, black man with a very high voice. They were GREAT together. Tall/deep, short/high.

Anyway, I enjoyed myself and I strongly recommend seeing this version of “Jesus Christ: Superstar” if you are lucky enough to have it come to your town.

D
broadwayguy2
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re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#1
Posted: 1/18/04 at 8:47pm
I saw the tour as well and agree...

I will state again, it is too bad Vince Rimoldi left the tour...

But yeah..
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iflitifloat
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re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#2
Posted: 1/18/04 at 8:50pm
The slow-motion beating choreography during Could We Start Again Please also occurred in the recent Broadway Revival. I'd seen the show several times and that scene affected me more than any other, every time.
Sueleen Gay: "Here you go, Bitch, now go make some fukcing lemonade." 10/28/10
broadwayguy2
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re: re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#3
Posted: 1/18/04 at 8:56pm
The tour is a "cleaned up" version of what was on Broadway


I was fortunate enough to catch teh show one day when Max Von Essen was on as Jesus and Shayna Steele was Mary.

Max von essen, Tony Vincent, and Shayna Steele = WOW!
DofB5
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re: re: re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#4
Posted: 1/18/04 at 8:58pm
Sorry I missed Max but Eric was very good. I think I will remember the "beating" scene for a long, long time.

D
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BillFinn
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re: re: re: re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#5
Posted: 1/18/04 at 10:26pm
I saw the tour at TBPAC as well! I met the cast at Barnes and Noble. The guy who played King Herod. He is hilarious and very good on stage.
Bill Finn rocks. Woot.
ghostlight
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I saw the tour last spring with Eric Kunze. I too felt guilty about lusting after Jesus! It was one of the best touring performances I've seen. Mary Magdalene was fantastic. Everything from start to finish made for a very moving production. Had the fortune of seeing the guy who played Judas in the movie reprise his role. Shoot - can't think of his name. Carl something?? Help me out here.
broadwayguy2
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Carl Anderson
ghostlight
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Yes - Carl Anderson. I just figured it out myself. Thanks. Anyway - he was spectacular. Does the guy ever age?
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PB ENT.
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Dof~ they actually toned down the beating from the Bd'w revival ( Glenn Carter, Tony Vincent & co.) Kevin Gray, who played Pilate was told to scream those 39 lashes and it was a bloody mess, literally. When I saw the tour last year (Philly) Bach, Anderson, it had been modified, thankfully.

Speaking of Carl Anderson, he left the tour do to a serious illness. I haven't heard any news about his condition or returning. Too, too bad. A great talent.

DofB~ Annas is perhaps the character you are referring to? I thought he looked like a "Mini-me Storm Trooper" next to Skala. I think Skala was in the OBC of Smokey Joe's Cafe. Ok... more information than you needed.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the show! I love the music but prefer the more classic version of the show.
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
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iflitifloat
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" I too felt guilty about lusting after Jesus!"

Its an ongoing problem. For me, Jeffrey Hunter (he of the VERY blue eyes) was
irresistable in the movie King of Kings.
Sueleen Gay: "Here you go, Bitch, now go make some fukcing lemonade." 10/28/10
MusicalComedyMan
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WELL... If we're going to bring up the Bway production... I MUST quote John Simon (my fav theatre critic)

Don't think you've experienced the worst before seeing JCS. A production SO stillborn I defy God himself to resurrect it.
Juliette Capulet
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I saw the tour last spring with Eric Kunze. I too felt guilty about lusting after Jesus!

Same here. I thought Eric was an amazing Jesus. His Gethsemane sent chill's up my spine and made my arm hair's stand. Every day I regret not going to the stage door and meeting him and Carl.

Tendres Baisers,
Juliette Capulet
DofB5
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Mini me! Yes, that's who he looked like! I thought it might be Annas but since I wasn't 100% sure, I didn't say.

The 39 lashes was somewhat bloody and worked well as strap marks EXCEPT where some got to close and left a palm mark.

And I hate to say it but John Simon clearly didn't know what he was talking about. It was a wonderful show. I would love to go see it again.

D
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PB ENT.
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Between "Bach the Rockin Jesus" in his green shoes, flinging his locks from side to side and the team of "Vader & Mini Me"...well, I just sunk into my seat to keep people from seeing me shaking with laughter! Wish I could join you DOF in your enthusiam, I didn't like it any better in NY . But I will say I enjoyed Natalie Toro very much. She sure outshined Maya Days as Mary.
www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
broadwayguy2
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Natalie Toro, Eric Kunze, Vince Rimoldi

Max Von Essen, Shayna Steele, Tony Vincent



The reasons I enjoyed the Broadway and Tour stagings
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I have the video with Glenn Carter, I dont know why you like Tony Vincent so much. I sit there and laugh at all the faces he makes and he keeps reminding me of Manley Pope who I really dont like.

-Christina
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Yes I saw the tour around its starting point. i saw sebastian bach, carl anderson, natalie toro, and yes broadwayguy vince rimoldi.

I enjoyed the production save for bach, who scared the bejeezers outta me when he screeched through Gethsemene.
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that screeching is why his rock fans love him. :)

-Christina
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true, but not necessarily appropriate for jesus. i know that ted neeley was crazy but he was in a class all his own, at least he screeched with passionate feeling and intensity, bach had none.
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youre not gonna get much arguement from me, I enjoyed him in JCS but it wasnt his best show. Im still wondering why Jesus had an english accent. I think the man essentially equated his Jekyll voice with speaking clearly.

-Christina
DofB5
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Jesus Christ: Superstar#21
Posted: 1/19/04 at 6:30pm
Well, I go to a show to enjoy it. I think the Vader/Ming/Mini Me was a great touch and I loved it. It's very rare for me walk out of a show and not find something enjoyable about it.

Next week--"Millie!" I can't wait!
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JohnPopa
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re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#22
Posted: 1/19/04 at 6:41pm
As someone who saw Skid Row about ten times between 1989 and 1993 (opening for Bon Jovi and Pantera respectively) I can tell you the screeching in JCS was not the powerful SINGING that made Sebastian such a big deal in the world of rock.
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Etcy
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re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#23
Posted: 1/19/04 at 6:41pm

Thank you for this post! I'm seeing the tour tomorrow night in Miami, and I'm really excited now! I've never seen it and this just put me in the right mood for it :) hooray!

~*Etcy*~
Dollypop
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re: re: Jesus Christ: Superstar#24
Posted: 1/19/04 at 6:45pm
I lusted after Jeff Fenholt (the original Jesus in the Tom O'Horgan staging of the opera) and met him any years later after he'd gotten flabby.

Could any Jeus be more desireable than Christian Bale in that TV movie? I think it was called MARY: THE MOTHER OF JESUS. That man could teach me the Beatitudes without any problem!

I'm pretty sure I saw Eric Kunze on Broadway in MISS SAIGON. He was very good.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)