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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays-Week 6-Jesus Christ Superstar

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I have no problem enlisting my mom's opinions of the handsomeness of men. I'm sure she'll just chalk it up to other weird things we talk about. For the record her favourite actor of all time is Jimmy Stewart who "aged very well" and "just seemed like the nicest man ever."


Now I'm off to think about how to shoehorn "Ted Neeley handsome" into all my Surf Ninja comments just in case.

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I know I'm really late to the party but I owe it to Cam Bert to give my thoughts on his pick. As I've said before I devoured the concept album and saw one stage production done by students at the University of Michigan. Seeing the movie last night was my first time watching it all the way through. I remember trying to watch it once before but not being impressed by the opening number. Oh well.


1) I don't remember much about the stage production but Jesus Christ definitely was the Superstar there. The music definitely calls for a strong actor who can physically be a presence. Having a weak actor like TN allows Judas to overshadow JCS. I was also impressed because during The Last Supper one disciple does a full-body face plant onto the stage. It happened so quickly and so loudly I was certain there was no way the actor could have broken his fall. One second he was standing (relatively) straight and the next he was laid completely out face down. Obviously the actor was OK and the noise was probably him slapping the stage but it took me completely by surprise.


2) The other main thing I remember about the stage production was I was completely disappointed. In the playbill (term used generically) it said the staging was based on Tom O'Horgan's original Broadway staging. I remembered reading that ALW didn't like that staging so I was anxious to see what the big deal was. It wasn't nearly what I'd read of the original staging. Honestly I think the stage production also sated my need to ever see the show live again. I would listen to the album but didn't care for anything else.


3) That all having been said I was greatly impressed with this movie. It was very moving at the end seeing Judas' frustration, indecision, doubt and morally struggling with "the right thing to do". I thought it was going to be a complete farce (and the GIFs of Josh Mostel dancing didn't help any) but it wasn't. Before the weekly discussion started I said I believed this would have been considered Norman Jewison's masterpiece if he hadn't made Fiddler on the Roof. I still stand by that. This was a great work of filmmaking. He didn't just point a camera and let the actors go crazy.


4) I loved that they got Yvonne Elliman to play Mary. I'd heard her so often on the records that it was great to put a face to the name. I don't know if I would have liked the movie as much with anyone else in the role. I always thought it was Mary, Lazarus' sister, that poured the ointment over Jesus. Lazarus being a rich man it would make sense he would have costly ointment on hand. I don't think anyone believes Mary (or Magdalene) went out and bought the ointment at that moment. That makes Judas' comment even more hypocritical. John 12 just says that they went to Bethany, Lazarus' town, and Lazarus' sister Martha served at the dinner. Then it says that Mary took the ointment. It could be Lazarus' other sister or Magdalene. (There were likely other Marys around, Jesus' mom for one.)


5) I can't get over the hats for the Pharisees and Sadducees. I liked one Caiaphas' being wide and Annas' being tall but didn't understand the point of either. To me they distracted from the actors' words and performances. I did like using the construction site as the "meeting place" and the council banging on the pipes in time with the cymbals at the end of the song. A nice touch.


6) I was disappointed at first when they moved "Heaven on their Minds" to near the end but seeing it in the movie made a lot of sense and was very moving to show Judas' redemption. I still think it should be early on to show why Judas is having all these issues but wouldn't mind it being left where the movie has it. Back in 2012 they did an arena tour and filmed that. I'll have to watch that sometime.


All in all a worthwhile pick Cam Bert!

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Oh. Fuck.




Should we save the date? Maybe live post this motherfucker?

I'm very interested in the casting!


April 1st? Maybe doable. Depends if it's an early start to the school year or not.

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