That’s The Best Jesus You Could Find?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

My mom and I went and saw Jesus Christ Superstar. I always liked that show. It’s got some great, powerful songs that rock out and does a pretty good job with “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (in this Jew’s opinion.) The production we saw was headlined by Ted Neely, the original Jesus from the film version. Unfortunately, at 65, he’s twice as old as Jesus was when he died. Neely should have hung ‘em up at 33. He was… not good. The show also has a terrible ending. (Did you know he dies?!) After the big production number that should end the show, there’s a ten minute scene of Jesus gasping on the cross in agony. And… curtain.  And… applause?

Somehow I ended up talking about Jesus Christ Superstar with Shane at work. He mentioned that the Indigo Girls did a weird production of it with Amy as Jesus and Emily as Mary. I looked it up. Man, it is weird. There were some production decisions that make me wonder if the Indigo Girls have any concept of the actual story — the Jewish Priests are portrayed as nuns wearing giant crosses and Jesus sings Hosanna — egotistically praising himself. That said, Amy Ray in overalls with a mullet is still a better Jesus than Ted Neely.

Meanwhile, in Guatemala we saw a very different side of Jesus. Antigua gets really into Easter every year when thousands of pilgrims descend on the town to participate in the festivities throughout lent. There wasn’t any electric guitar, but there sure were tubas!

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