Jesus Christ Superstar was originally written as a rock opera album before it made it Broadway debut in 1971. That same year, Jesus Christ Superstar was nominated for 5 Tony Awards. It has been performed by many for 46 years. And now the longtime running rock opera has made its way to the stage at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
This was the first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and has been a phenomenon ever since. From large theatres to the smaller ones, this show has been a must see for many people. It has been produced in 42 countries and each one of these has been a masterpiece.
The Arvada Center’s production is no exception. Under the direction of Rod A. Lansberry, opening night on Friday, March 24th was another major production on an amazing stage. Lansberry takes you through the final days of Jesus Christ and shows the passion we as humans have and the support we give him. The audience will relive the days of Christ being betrayed and the agony and rapture filled with the final days.
This is all presented with a prodigious cast led by Billy Lewis, Jr. in the lead role of Jesus of Nazareth. Lewis, Jr. was last seen as Mason McCarthy on the FOX television show Glee. Supporting Billy Lewis, Jr. are Matt LaFontaine (Judas Iscariot), Jenna Bainbridge (Mary Magdalene), Stephen Day (Caiaphas), Joe Callahan (Annas), Markus Warren (Pontius Pilate) and Wayne Kennedy (King Herod). As they relive the final days, the audience is held mesmerized and there are many emotions shared by all. The audience shares in the performers’ laughter, joy, tears and pain as we experience a turbulent times of such a wonderful man. Apostle Judas Iscariot is not afraid to express his concern over Jesus and his popularity of being referred to as “King”. Even though Judas still respects Jesus, he has many personal issues with Jesus and his followers. He receives a reward to tell the guards where Jesus is. As Mary Magdalene tries to comfort Jesus, Judas is worried that there are other emotions associated with Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s profession of a prostitute. Jesus Christ knows that he is going to be betrayed and lets the betrayers know who they are. As many followers are criticizing Jesus about the way he treats everyone, he does let them know that if any of his followers are without sin, then they should not judge others. As the uproar continues, Jesus is led to Jerusalem. Through it all, Jesus still continues to care for everyone no matter what people say about him.
The music is riveting and non-stop. There is no actual dialogue as most every word is sung. It is not your typical play but it is a very moving opera that will keep your attention throughout the entirety of this fantastic and award winning masterpiece.
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has presented a lot of monumental performances over time and they keep getting better and larger. The casting is impressive and the music is spectacular. If you want to share in the magic of the arts, check out the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. The famous rock opera runs through April 16th and you can purchase tickets at by clicking here or you can call 720-898-7200.