Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'Jesus Christ Superstar' Proves One of Lyric's Best Productions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'Jesus Christ Superstar' Proves One of Lyric's Best Productions

Article excerpt

current production at the Lyric Theatre, is - purely and simply - magnificent. Please don't miss it. The production runs through Aug. 1.

The story, of course, deals with the last days of Jesus of Nazareth told in song. It's a powerful story and is told in a powerful way. Don't be put off because "Superstar" is billed as a rock musical. It's much more than that. It's a mirror reflection of human nature, its strengths and its frailties.

This is probably the best overall production the Lyric has presented in several seasons, to my mind. "Superstar" is outstanding. It's a musical which I had never seen before, had never even heard the album. My only frame of reference was a couple of hit songs, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" and the title song.

The Lyric version, directed by New Yorker Scott Harris and choreographed by Terry Rieser, was updated from its original biblical setting to a contemporary era. Costume designer Pat Mueller did a superb job on the costuming and the orchestra, led by Joel Levine, had the contemporary sound of electrified instruments down pat. Levine said he had imported an electric guitarist from the Radio City Music Hall in New York to highlight the production.

Dale Hall's sets and David L. Pape's lighting were spectacular. The bare stage, with its slanted surface and trapdoor, were spotlighted perfectly. The lighting contributed greatly to the various moods of this production. At moments, the stage was totally dark except for one spotlight on Jesus. Another time, the stage was alight with joy as the ensemble sang "Hosanna" and carried huge masses of silver and brightly colored balloons.

The actors? Where to start. Scott Gordon as Judas Iscariot was perfect as he suffered the agonies of betraying his friend. …

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