Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s (music) rock musical phenomenon Jesus Christ Superstar is turning 50 and in celebration of that milestone an Olivier Award-winning anniversary tour will make its LA premiere at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. The show will play a one-week engagement this Fall, from October 29 – November 3, 2019. Tickets are available today exclusively to 2019-20 Pantages Season Ticket Holders.
This production of Jesus Christ Superstar premiered in 2016 at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London, under the direction of Timothy Sheader, with choreographer by Drew McOnie. It won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. The North American tour will launch in Austin, Texas in the Fall of 2019. Jesus Christ Superstar premiered as a concept album in 1970.
“Dropping the needle on that iconic brown album was a defining moment for me as a kid growing up in the 70’s,” remarked producer Stephen Gabriel. “This production of Superstar embodies all of the power and excitement captured in that music.”
That concept album would be imagined as a Broadway musical in 1971, in a production that played at the Mark Hellinger Theatre for 711 performances. The Broadway berth was directed by Tom O’Horgan and featured a cast that included Jeff Fenholt as Jesus, Ben Vereen as Judas, Bob Bingham as Caiaphas, with Yvonne Elliman and Barry Dennen reprising their roles from the album, Mary Magdalene and Pilate, respectively.
Jesus Christ Superstar tells the harrowing final days of Christ with reflections and criticisms from his followers and detractors. The score boats such ditties as “Heaven on Their Minds”, “What’s the Buzz?”, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him?” and the electric title song.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.