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Jesus Christ Superstar (DVD)
Member Name: Ric!
Jesus Christ Superstar (DVD)
Date: 16/09/01, updated on 08/05/05 (788 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic, Great songs and great lyrics
Disadvantages: Rik Mayall is awful
Jesus Christ Superstar is another classic from the geniuses Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. After seeing the show in the theatre twice, and really enjoying it both times, I decided to buy the DVD and I have not been disappointed.
Jesus Christ Superstar was launched onto the West End stage in 1971. Despite the controversy and protests by some (all of which you can find out about as one of the 'extras' on the disc), it is still an amazing piece of work, 30 years on. The story is a representation of the last days of Jesus Christ's life from the viewpoint of Judas.
The performance on the DVD is set out as though it were performed at a large theatre. There are only 2 or 3 different scenes, so don't expect it to be like a film with realistic buildings and effects.
The stars of the show are:
Glenn Carter - Jesus Christ
He really has a very strong voice and makes light work of his difficult high notes. He has the typical hair and facial appearances that we have come to recognise as symbolising what Jesus looked like. He is perfect for the part. To an amateur eye, like my own, he puts in a faultless performance.
Jerome Pradon - Judas Iscariot
My favourite character. Initially I thought that Jerome Pradon was not really suitable for the part. He appears to have some difficulty at times with his high notes, which can sound a bit screechy and wavery. You find yourself sitting there willing him to make the note! But as you watch and re-watch the DVD it soon becomes clear that there is far more to him that just his voice. He makes himself into Judas. The gestures, the body language, his perfectly timed wry smiles. All these things you miss at the theatre, and indeed miss the first time you watch the DVD. Every time you see the performance you pick up on more and more of these subtleties. For me, Jerome Pradon is THE star of the show because he can almost make you believe in what he is si
nging. He looks like he is feeling the pain that he portrays so well.
Renee Castle - Mary Magdalene
A beautiful woman with a beautiful voice. She makes all her lyrics exceptionally clear, and also puts in what I would say is a faultless performance.
Rik Mayall - King Herod
This is the one let down of the entire performance. Why, oh why, was he cast in this part? Is it because he is famous and would make the show more popular/appealing? This can be the only reason because the man cannot sing. Thankfully he only has one song. He speaks and shouts most of his lyrics, occasionally changing his style to sing a few notes, causing you to grimace every time. I've got nothing against the man - I'm not particularly a fan of his TV work, but I feel he really spoils the part of King Herod.
The rest of the cast all put in strong performances, especially Simon Zealotes, and together they make it an absolutely splendid overall show. All I can say is that the more and more you watch it, the better it gets.
For all those of you that are interested in the extras that are offered, you will find:
1) The Making of Jesus Christ Superstar - which includes a bit about the history of the show, as well as interviews which cast members, the director, and Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber.
2) Trailers of 'Cats' and 'Joseph'
Not much, but then again, I only ever buy DVDs for the main content and not because of the extras.
If you are a Lloyd Webber and Rice fan, then this will make a fine addition to your DVD collection.