My Own Personal Judas: Revisiting Jesus Christ Superstar

4 thoughts on “My Own Personal Judas: Revisiting Jesus Christ Superstar”

  1. What I’ve always liked about JCS is that it drew out many small nuances of the traditional story and succeeded in capturing the political complexity of the situation, which is typically lost in the familiar narrative. In addition to Judas’ and the Pharisees’ political concerns, we also get Simon Zealotes’ song in which he urges Christ to lead a political revolution, only to have Jesus turn him down, saying that no one understands what’s really happening. The only nuance that Rice and Webber left out was the fact that Matthew, as a tax collector, was probably pro-Roman.

  2. One other nuance to the film version that you missed is the penultimate scene, where the troupe boards the bus to take them away. Most of the troupe board the bus amidst congratulations and good feeling with nary a thought, but onne member of the troupe is conspicuously absent from the scene. Of the troupe that boards at the scene’s start only Barry Dennen takes a long look back before boarding the bus. The last two to board are Yvonne Elliman and Carl Anderson. Elliman stares intently at the hillside where Ted Neely presumably remains, before acknowledging Carl Anderson’s presence and scooting onto the bus, while Anderson himself stares back at the hillside as the bis drives off into the distance. That, for me anyway, was the most powerful scene in the movie on many levels.

  3. Gee you make me feel old. I bought the LP years before the movie came out.

    Since I decided I was agnostic at 12 a Black Judas did not bother me at all. I loand the LP to a Black Christian expecting to get on his nerves. He shocked me by saying that he liked it but that Jesus seemed “Too Human”. I suppose I am not Christian enough to wrap my mind arond that.

  4. One of my favourite musicals growing up. My siblings and i would act it out and take on roles. We’d all share Judas though becaue he was just the best. Took me a long time to realise it was his story, not Jesus’. And honestly I thought Caiaphas and Annas were just badasses in those hats and chest plates. I admit, I too found the portrayal of Jesus less than thrilling. Took a while before I could see him as anything less than whiny and shrill. But I suppose you’d be frustrated too if you were a man with a divine misson surrounded by petty, short-sighted humans. I would love to read your story inspired by this musical. Links please!

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