CHRIST SUPERSTAR-ABOUT THE PLAY
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera in two acts with music by Andrew
Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice and based on the last seven days in the
life of Jesus Christ.
In 1972, Jesus Christ Superstar exploded onto
the West End stage and changed the face of musical theatre forever. The first
musical ever to incorporate rock music, it was acclaimed by the press and
public alike and launched the careers of the young songwriting duo Tim Rice and
Andrew Lloyd Webber. The score, which is one of their best, is packed with hit
songs including I Don't Know How to Love Him, Could We Start Again
Please and, of course, Superstar.
The original London production starred Paul Nicholas as Jesus, Stephen Tate as
Judas and Dana Gillespie as Mary Magdalene. By the time it closed after some
eight years and 3,358 performances it had become the longest running musical in
West End history.
There have been many productions of Jesus Christ Superstar over the past
twenty-five years in over 15 countries across the globe including India. In
1992, an Australian concert version stages in a series of vast arenas have
broken all box office records attracting an audience of over one million and
the soundtrack has made it to the top of the US charts three times.
- Jesus Christ Superstar ran on
Broadway from 1971 to 1973 and grossed £2.8 million at the box office.
Critics hailed it as the 'best English musical in years'.
- It ran in the West End from
1972 - 80, becoming the longest-running musical grossing £7.5 million.
- Jesus Christ Superstar still
holds the record as the fifth longest running musical in the history of
the West End. It was beaten from the top spot by three other Andrew Lloyd
Webber musicals - Cats, Starlight Express and Phantom of the Opera.
- The role of Jesus was
originally played by Paul Nicholas, who went on to become a household
favorite as Vince in the BBC TV series, "Just Good Friends".
- Jesus Christ Superstar has
been staged in over 15 countries including India, Kenya, Mexico and
- A Japanese kabuki production
played at London's Dominion Theatre in 1992.
- The 1973 film starring Ted
Neeley as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas and Yvonne Elliman as Mary
Magdalene took £8.6 million at the box office.
- In 1992 an Australian concert
version attracted an audience of one million. The subsequent album became
the largest selling record of the year.
- Jesus Christ Superstar was
banned in South Africa where it was deemed to be irreligious.