A review on Jesus Christ Super Star

The cover for this version of the musical Jesus Christ Super Star.

(Photo Credit: Mandy Puga '24)

The cover for this version of the musical Jesus Christ Super Star.

Mandy Puga, Staff Writer

On Sunday, Nov. 14, my mom and I went to go watch a performance of “Jesus Christ Super Star” on Stage for the first time. I had already watched the original movie and the musical with John Legend and Sara Bareilles prior to seeing this version. My expectations were a little too high considering that this was the cast’s last show.


For those of you who don’t know, “Jesus Christ Super Star” is a musical about Jesus’ last three days on earth and crucifixtion, told through catchy songs which are still relevant to this day.


Now how was the show overall? Lets just say, I have quite a few comments on this version of the show. And sadly, most of them aren’t good.


The view from my seat towards the stage. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga ’24)


Starting off with the biggest character of the show: the man who played the one and only Jesus Christ actually performed really well. He had an amazingly talented voice and vocal range, hitting very high notes throughout the show. The only part that was unusual and quite embarrassing to watch was when Jesus started to flop around the stage, like a toddler having a tantrum, after he got whipped. Now when I say whipped, he really just theatrically got balls of glitter thrown at his body multiple times, which was also a little weird to watch happen. However, Jesus put on a good performance.


The second character I would like to touch on is Judas. I will say that the actor who played Judas did seem to try his best and make enthusiastic choices. One thing that bothered me a lot about his character was this guy could not stop voice cracking. And the worst part about it was that I couldn’t tell if he was doing it on purpose or not. Was it an “artistic vocal choice” or a flat out voice crack because his voice was tired? We’ll never know.


Oh wait, remember Simon in this biblical story? Well, forget about him because he only appeared once! He was barley in it. And what angered me even more was that some of his scenes were taken over by Judas which completely ruins the whole point of the story.


Now for Mary Magdalen. This actor was almost perfect because not only did she get the personality of the character down, but she also had an awesome voice. She sounded angelic when she sang, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” What was the problem, you ask? It’s the fact that she BARLEY made an appearance in the show, just like Simon. I was thinking, “Oh hey Mary, when did you get here? You’ve only been in like two scenes.” This issue leads into my next problem with the show.


The timing of the show was limited to 90 minutes. 90 MINUTES! That’s super fast for an in depth musical like “Jesus Christ Super Star.” I’m not completely sure why they enforced this, but I’m assuming it had to do something with Covid protocols. This 90 minute time cut the show extremely short, and created even more issues within the performance.


They had to skip over so many scenes and even a couple songs. My favorite scene/song in the whole show since I first watched it is “The Temple.” This scene starts with the people invading the temple while lepers ask Jesus to heal them. I was extremely disappointed because not only was the scene cut short, but the ensemble wasn’t too enthusiastic about it either. Another scene that disappointed my mother was “Pilate’s Dream” scene. According to her, “It went by way too fast and I was super upset about it because it’s always been my favorite song/scene.” “Pilate’s Dream” has a powerful significance in the story since it foreshadows what is going to happen to Jesus, showing that cutting the scene out was a huge mistake.


Finally, I would like to talk about the ensemble. As a theatre kid myself, I know how important the ensemble is for the result of the show. Now did the ensemble have a great voice all togther? Absolutely. The harmonies were on point, sounded beautiful, and their take on the musical’s songs were awesome to listen too. But could they have been a little more energetic? Absolutely. However, I understand since it was their last show.


Overall, the original version of the musical,  “Jesus Christ Super Star” is an amazing show, having songs that’s are super catchy, well written, and relevant to this day. But this specific show we went to see needed a lot of work. Jesus Christ Super Star will always have a special place in my heart, and hopefully one day I get to see it on stage again with a more prepared performance.

The inside of pamphlet for Jesus Christ Super Star. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga ’24)