Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Initially released as a concept album, Jesus Chris Superstar was so successful that it led to a Broadway debut on October 12, 1971 becoming the longest-running musical on the West End until Cats. Jesus Christ Superstar is a sung-through rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. Loosely based on the Gospels' accounts of the Passion, the work interprets the psychology of Jesus and other characters, with much of the plot centered on Judas, who is dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus is steering his disciples. Contemporary attitudes, sensibilities, and slang pervade the rock opera's lyrics, and ironic allusions to modern life are scattered throughout the depiction of political events.
Special Thanks to Jeff Burke, Rich Plotkin, Sean Banigan, Maggie Borkholder, David Helpingstine, Stephen Mendard, and the former House Theater of Chicago.
As children, we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up. Our youth and reckless abandon lead us to dream of a princess or an astronaut. As we grow up our dreams become more focused on the world, we want to create for ourselves and others. When I was young, I remember watching Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and thinking “I want to do that!”. At that point in time, I did not know what “that” was. As you might have guessed, "that" was theatre, and performing, and singing, and dancing, and bringing a story to life. When I was asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?", my answer never changed.
When I was given the task of bringing Jesus Christ Superstar to the stage I knew it needed to be something people would not forget. While my answer never changed, the world we are living in certainly has. The concept came from the world of the last few years. Taking the 70's rock music of the show and focusing on political movements at the same time such as the Civil Rights Movement, LGBTQ+, Women's Rights, and even Watergate it shows that we are not living so far from that time in the world we are going through today. For this production, we are going past today and what we know, to a time in the not-so-distant future, dystopian and post-apocalyptic. If you leave with a new perspective on theatre, yourself, or the world, then I have done my job.