by Sydney Moxley | photo courtesy Matthew Murphy
With Easter quickly approaching, there is no better time to see the story of the Crucifixion performed by a group of hipsters. Wait, what? Unlike many previous renditions of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s acclaimed Broadway musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”, the story of Jesus’s final days has been taken from 33 A.D. and brought to 2020.
For those who may not be familiar with the famous Bible story, “Jesus Christ Superstar” begins with Jesus’ twelve disciples completely committed to his teachings. All except one – Judas. Judas fears that Jesus has gone too far with his teachings, which angered the Pharisees. The musical touches on Biblical events such as Jesus overturning the usurer’s tables in the temple, Mary Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet, Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, the Last Supper and night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and of course, the trial and crucifixion of Jesus on the cross.
This new version of “Jesus Christ Superstar” brings the story of the Crucifixion to the 21st century. The costuming of the disciples features crop tops and joggers, and Jesus himself sports skinny jeans and a man bun while wielding an acoustic guitar. The actors incorporate microphones and stands as various props throughout the show. Meanwhile, instead of in the pit, the orchestra sits up in boxed rafters, which are also used by the actors in several scenes. The modernized interpretation of a classic story is sure to captivate all audiences.
In addition to excellent costuming, music, and props, the actors themselves also give a more up-to-date performance. Hip-hop dancing, interpretive choreography, and rock-sounding vocalization add to the overall feeling of modernity in this new version. Its differences from the original Broadway interpretation are what makes the latest rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” a must-see.
Catch “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Andrew Jackson Theater, March 4-8, 2020. For tickets, visit tpac.org.