jesus christ (rock) superstar

last night i took in the performance of andrew lloyd webber’s jesus christ superstar put on by the little 5 points rockstar orchestra at the five spot on euclid in little 5. in case you don’t know about the the l5 rockstar orchestra is a collection of musicians and artists from little 5 who have been putting on theatrical performances, and got great marks for their theatrical interpretation of iron maiden’s “number of the beast.”

they turned in a pretty spirited performance of jcs as well. the leads all gave awesome interpretations to their parts with rob thompson’s guitar-playing judas clearly the owner of the show. jeff bryant brought incredible energy to the part of jesus and really owned the stage projecting his presence across the entire audience. for my money he was just a little angry, particularly turning the beautiful song ‘gethsemane’ into something of a rant, but that’s what interpretation is all about and while it certainly isn’t how i would have done it, i appreciate what Bryant did and it gave his rather substantial heavy metal vocal skills a chance to shine.

the show also featured awesome performance in two supporting roles. naomi lavender really did an outstanding job as mary magadelene. she belted out powerful renditions of mary’s two signature songs, ‘everything’s alright’ and ‘i don’t know how to love him,’ two songs that i often skip past on the soundtrack, but found myself singing along with and thoroughly enjoying when married with the very capable vocal talent of lavender. and will lewellyn absolutely excelled as Pontius pilate, singing the roll with a german accent, and following bryant’s lead adopting a very angry tone throughout the ‘trail before pilate’ number, which in that instance worked well for me.

the only major drawbacks were the size of the stage, which constrained the theatrical aspects of the musical and dogged problems with microphones particularly for some of the supporting characters like annas and simon.

also be forewarned, it is certainly a modernization and reinterpretation, with roman guards dressed in very scant lingerie, jesus’s follower’s dressed like a band following a 60’s hippie guru and a very provocative mary Magdalene. it works, for my taste, but if you are looking for something true to the broadway staging this is definitely not it.

all in all i highly recommend it. its passionate, experimental and features some awesome musicianship. it’s really everything good local theatre and a good local rock performance should be about. the small constrained venue gives it the feel of a band that just decided to put on a musical and it works. well.

you have one more shot to see it. tonight at 8:00 at the five spot on euclid in little 5. tickets are $10 and i would get there 20 minutes early or so since it’s open seating.

and if you miss it because you didn’t know about it, shame on you for not reading metroblogs on a weekend.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jason (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 9:05 am

    Jesus was played by Jett Bryant.

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