America4 said: "Date: October 12, 2019 2:00 pm showI was very disappointed with the casts sweat pant costume design. It took me a while to figure out who was Jesus Christ. I was very impressed with their obvious talent & performance, but their attire cheapened the whole musical! Their costume design should reflect what people wore in time period AD 30 to AD 36.The director of musical fails to understand that we go to see musicals to be entertained & `oohed and aahed, not to encounter attire that we wear everyday while we lounge at home!"Getting past the costume choices, what did you think of the entire production?
I got that the costumes weren’t going to be period-accurate from the first tour previews that dropped as early as February this year. And no, the cast of JCS don’t NEED to be draped in flowing robes to make it entertaining to everyone. Were they attired as such for the JCS Live version that aired in April 2018? And other shows, like HADESTOWN, staring Orpheus and Eurydice, Persephone and Hades, and Hermes, they’re not dressed accordingly, in ancient attire befitting gods. We all go to see shows for different reasons and have different expectations. Not all shows have to be costumed to make sense. And from the cast list on the website, I could easily figure out who is playing Jesus Christ.https://ustour.jesuschristsuperstar.com/our-people/cast/I’ve been eagerly anticipating this since the tour was announced, and will be seeing it Jan. 05, 2020.Why this ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is one of the great revivals in musical theater historyhttps://www.austin360.com/entertainmentlife/20191010/why-this-jesus-christ-superstar-is-one-of-great-revivals-in-musical-theater-historyhttps://www.broadway.com/buzz/197206/get-a-first-look-at-the-jesus-christ-superstar-tour/
The Syracuse trial run also received a very positive review. I can't wait until 10/27 in San Jose, CA.https://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/2019/10/at-landmark-jesus-christ-superstar-is-a-dark-edged-beautiful-madness-review.html
I'm a fan of the musical - one of my early favorites - and the positive reviews are making me more inclined to see the revival. I don't care how they're dressed. A modern spin has always been one of the points of the show. It's just a tough musical to pull off given the demands it places on the lead actors.
America4 said: "Their costume design should reflect what people wore in time period AD 30 to AD 36."I'm curious as to why, on a two-story steel-girder set, you were expecting actors in period attire.
I saw this version of the show when the Lyric Opera of Chicago brought it in for their Broadway series and I thought it was exceptional. It had a first class cast, full ensemble, and orchestra. Just simply brilliant and vibrant. I'm guessing the tour is a step or two below what I saw. I know this tour is coming it's way back to Chicago next summer, but I think I'm going to pass as I don't want to spoil my memory of the Lyric performance.
I scrolled through a few YouTube videos of the revival, which won the Olivier as Best Revival, and had mixed feelings. The look of the show is impressive, at least to me. I'm a little concerned about whether the cast can meet my expectations in terms of vocals. (My comparison is Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson in the early '90s.) I always worry a little about national tours that skip San Francisco because the prices are higher and my expectations are too.
I was lucky enough to see JCS last Tuesday (the first official night on tour), and I absolutely loved it!! I've been a lifelong fan of Joseph, having had my mom play the recorded West End version on a loop as a kid, and I was overall disappointed by the Joseph tour a couple years back. I wasn't too sure if I wanted to see JCS, but after deciding on a whim to get a ticket (thank god for student rush), I'm so thankful that I went. The whole production was electrifying, with the lighting and choreography being major stand-outs, and boasted wonderful, strong performances from the leads. As far as the costume controversy goes, I have to admit that at first it seemed boring and drab, but I grew to love the way the costumes flowed, especially for the big ensemble moments. They wouldn't win a ton of awards in my book, but they fit with the set design and matched their characters well. I can't wait for the tour to come back to Texas and am even planning a trip to Dallas or Fort Worth to see it again!
Call_me_jorge said: "Does Herod still have that flamboyant gold cape/cloak type thing in this production?"Yep!
I saw the first performance of the tour in Austin last Tuesday, and I enjoyed it. The show is extremely contemporary, but I thought the design suited it well and it felt like it had a lot going for it. As Lot666 mentioned, I am also not sure why one would be expecting a minimalist, gritty version of Jesus Christ Superstar to dawn costumes that may be considered period attire. The choreography is super reminiscent of King Kong (considering they were both done by Drew McOnie), but I thought it looked miles better in this show than it did there.Spoiler:
When Jesus is getting hung on the cross for example, the ensemble hangs him via crossed microphone stands and audio cables. They use handheld power drills to screw his hands & feet to the beams. It's very gritty, but honestly a super unique interpretation of that scene. Again, I think the contemporary version of this show works really really well overall.
I saw it Tuesday night on its first show in San Jose. (For the first time, I was late, so we missed the Overture and Heaven on Their Minds (caught some of it on video). It was a good production overall, although it's better suited for people very familiar with the story and lyrics because it was sometimes hard to understand the ensemble in the large (more than 2,600 seat) San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. It's an energetic show that's often staged in clever ways, visually and conceptually. Caiaphas, Annas and the pharisees are particular highlights. Several other performers do excellent work, including James Delisco Beeks in the challenging role of Judas and Eric A. Lewis (who was in the Lyric production) as an appropriately enthusiastic Simon. Jenna Rubaii, who was Joelle in Groundhog Day on Broadway, did a nice job as Mary Magdalene. Aaron LaVigne handled the always difficult role of Jesus and did better than I expected (based on a YouTube video) with Gethsemane.The show is more raw than the only other live production of Jesus Christ Superstar I saw about 25 years ago with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson. The informal costumes that bothered the OP weren't an issue for me and often heightened the effect of the choreography and staging. I didn't think everything worked, but it was an ambitious and interesting spin on the show.
bear88 said: "I saw it Tuesday night on its first show in San Jose. (For the first time, I waslate, so we missed the Overture and Heaven on Their Minds (caught some of it on video). It was a good production overall, although it's better suited for people very familiar with the storyand lyrics because it was sometimes hard to understand the ensemble in the large (more than 2,600 seat) San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.It's an energetic show that's often staged in clever ways, visually and conceptually. Caiaphas, Annas and the pharisees are particular highlights. Several otherperformers do excellent work, including James Delisco Beeks in the challenging role of Judas and Eric A. Lewis (who was in the Lyric production) as an appropriately enthusiasticSimon. Jenna Rubaii, who was Joelle in Groundhog Day on Broadway, did a nice job as Mary Magdalene. Aaron LaVigne handled the always difficult role of Jesus and did better than I expected (based on a YouTube video) with Gethsemane.The show is more raw than the only other live production of Jesus Christ Superstar I saw about 25 years ago with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson. The informal costumes that bothered the OP weren't an issue for me and often heightened the effect of the choreography and staging. I didn't think everything worked, but it was an ambitious and interesting spin on the show."Can you please comment on the lighting design? It looked very impressive in the clips I viewed.I'm in orchestra, row 12 for this Sunday evening's performance in SJ and am not too nervous about the sound quality from there.
There are some interesting lighting effects, and some flashy stuff that I didn't catch as well as you will on Sunday. (There are also things I didn't think worked.) It's the sort of show - with a lot going on and my own familiarity with it - that didn't suffer too much from being in the rear orchestra (well, Row 22, which is really Row 26). You should be fine with the sound, as you'll be closer than I was on Tuesday. It's fine most of the time, but it's a lyric-heavy show with a lot of choreography in this version (more than I recall from the 1990s revival). The ensemble gets quite a workout.
My comparison is Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson in the early '90s.They were actually the worst vocals I had ever heard in the numerous JCS productions I've seen. Their voices were completely shredded. Their costume design should reflect what people wore in time period AD 30 to AD 36. Why? Because the music and dialogue sound so first century? If this throws you off, then you'd probably better avoid all productions of opera and Shakespeare.
When in the Nineties did you see them? Earlier on in the tour, they were on fire considering their age.
I think it was 1993. I had issues with the overall production, which I didn't think was very good, but Neeley could still sing at that point and Anderson was terrific. I know it was a very long tour, so their voices may have gotten ragged. But they were the reason to see the show.The current touring production is a better show, in my view, and flows much more smoothly. Attendance was pretty good for a Tuesday night. It just doesn't have the star power of the 1990s incarnation.
Broadway San Jose's Facebook page mentions that rush tickets will be available for the remaining performances. Just FYI for anyone interested.
bear88 said: "I think it was 1993. If it was at the Orpheum, then it was May 1993 because I saw the same tour. Irene Cara played Mary Magdalene. I can’t remember much of the show other than I feel like the cross was illuminated by fluorescent bulbs. I think that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing this new production on Sunday; it’s been too long.
That's the one. I can't remember whether I saw Irene Cara, but Dennis DeYoung (of the rock band Styx) played Pontius Pilate. It was earlier in what turned out to be a very long tour.
Irene Cara started with the tour, but bailed very early on for undisclosed reasons. Her understudy, Leesa Richards Humphrey, took over, and was then succeeded by Syreeta Wright (former Mrs. Stevie Wonder and successful R&B artist in her own right).
Okay, I finally saw the show today and I fell just short of loving it. But it was really, really good. Regarding the costumes, I mentioned earlier in the thread that I personally am not a fan of athletic attire for non-athletic purposes. However, I think it was quite effective here. Plus, it wasn't really athletic attire but more on that in a minute. Much like the movie used hippie attire to signal to the audience that this was role play set in the present, these costumes conveyed that we were on a journey with something akin to a group of Brooklyn hipsters. This felt like a Yeezy fashion show . . . streetwear more than sweat pants. I think another technique used to signify that this wasn't a period piece: the cast of Jesus' followers comes running in through the auditorium from the lobby post-Overture. Oh, and the way Jesus is crucified and the set comprised of steel I-beams also tell you this isn't set in biblical times. I am sorry OP was so disappointed, but I think the signs were there that the play wasn't intended to be set in 30 AD.I had low expectations when this was first announced since there hasn't been a Broadway revival to drive this. However, Mary and Judas were exceptional. King Herod was flamboyant and a ton of fun. My only two problems with it:1) Jesus is played as overly subdued for the first half. I get that he realizes he is near the end of his life, but you could barely hear him sing in anything up to Gethsemane. However, he turns it on for Gethsemane. The emotion really comes out. By the time he sings "Judas, must you betray me with a kiss" I was teary-eyed.2) Caiaphas had a great bass voice, but he wasn't as threatening as I would expect. Annas was menacing, but Caiaphas was more like a big, cuddly teddy bear.Nevertheless, I enjoyed this production and recognize this is early in the tour so some actors may need time to develop the roles more.
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