BWW Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Downtown Cabaret Theatre

BWW Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Downtown Cabaret Theatre

  1. The 1970 musical JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR was wonderfully performed at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, in Bridgeport, CT, on March 18. Under the musical direction of Eli Newsom, the talented live band provides moving music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, while the amazing cast, under the direction and choreography of Lance Gray, sings the lyrics that were written by Tim Rice. As a rock opera, the entire story is told through the music, without any spoken lines that are unaccompanied by music. This can be a challenging style to effectively perform, but the Downtown Cabaret Theatre successfully makes it work with all the right people in the right places, doing the right things at the right times.

"Superstar," the signature song, is a fascinating combination of Sly & The Family Stone style funk on the verses, with a church choir sound on the chorus. A brilliant decision was made at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, to have the children's choir sing the chorus. This works incredibly well and greatly enhances the quality of what eventually becomes nearly a full ensemble number, with Christian Cardozo providing strong lead vocals in the role of Tim Rice's adaptation of Judas Iscariot.

Chris Kozlowski is convincing and moving in his powerful portrayal of Tim Rice's adaptation of Jesus. Chris Kozlowski portrays and provokes many emotions with sincerity and conviction. He succeeds in belting out and holding many high notes, as written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, in a style that would later be used by a British heavy metal band that is ironically named Judas Priest.

Carolyn Reeves brings strong vocals and feeling to the lead female character, Tim Rice's adaptation of Mary Magdalene.

A theatrical highlight is a suicide hanging scene that totally looks real. I honestly don't know how they did that, but I was glad to see the actor alive on stage after that scene.

It is important that JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is to be understood as a fictional representation of actual people and events, and not to be trusted as a sound theological source upon which to base one's perception of Jesus. The fictional Jesus presented by Tim Rice's lyrics is very far removed from the real Jesus who we read about in the Bible. The real Jesus loves us all, knows His own identity, and understands the purpose of His mission.

In the Bible (Matthew 16:15), we read that "...who do you say I am?" is a question that Jesus asked His Apostles. It is a question we all must answer, and the most important question of our lives. Our choice to live in accordance with our answer to that question impacts the course of our lives and our eternal destination. It is my prayer that this show helps inspire people to seek that answer, and that they choose to find it through prayer, the Church, the Scriptures, and wise counsel from those who know Jesus. I pray that by God's grace, all people will see and live the truth proclaimed by Peter in Matthew 16:16.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is scheduled to continue to run at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, in Bridgeport, CT, through April 8. For days, times, and tickets, please go to http://dtcab.com/show/jesus-christ-superstar/.

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From This Author Sean Fallon

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