Last night I had the great pleasure of attending the new Jesus Christ Superstar musical starring Tim Minchin, Mel C (from the Spice Girls), Ben Forster, Jon Stevens and Andrew O’Keefe.
Having seen the 1990’s production with John Farnham and knowing the storyline fairly well, I thought I knew what I was in for. Umm, wrong. This Jesus Christ Superstar was set in the modern day. It still had the same characters and basic storyline but Andrew Lloyd Webber has updated the show to include a few new numbers. Whilst the storyline may be a little discombobulated at times, they actually pull it off quite well. You wouldn’t expect that they could, but if Jesus Christ came to earth in the modern day this is a fair depiction of what would happen in the reflection of the bible’s events. The thing to remember is, this is a musical, a rock opera if you will, it’s telling a story in a the musical form. It’s not a documentary telling of the bible so check reality at the door and be immersed in the incredible music and performance.
Jesus still has his 12 disciples as they form a common cause against corporate greed. In remembering that it is a musical, the storyline comes across more appropriate for todays audience.
Most importantly the big numbers are still all in the show but just told from a slightly different angle with some words changed to help the modern day telling flow. I’ve got to tell you, Tim Minchin was simply superb in Jesus Christmas Superstar. I’ve seen Tim Minchin a few times over the years, including 3 of his musical comedy shows of which were outstanding. I don’t say this lightly but I honestly believe Tim Minchin is the most talented performer this country has produced in a generation. He is clearly uber intelligent and an outstanding composer and performer. Add to that his recent acting performance in Californication season 5 and his work on the Tony Award winning musical Matilda and you’ve got an all round outstanding performer.
Also in the show is Mel C from the Spice Girls. I was a little sceptical with that casting to be honest, taking on the role of Mary Magdeline but she was actually very good. A faultess vocal performance. Much better than expected. Jesus was played by Ben Forster who won the spot on a UK reality show. Whilst his performance was not perfect he certainly has an outstanding voice. We haven’t seen the last of Ben Forster.
The show is still touring Australia with 5 concerts in Melbourne starting tomorrow before finishing in Brisbane. The show then returns to the UK. If you missed the show you can get it on DVD which includes heaps of bonus features well worth getting. What’s even better is the DVD is available for a tenth of the cost of the musical ticket. I’d certainly recommend getting the Jesus Christ Superstar Musical DVD while it’s still available.
All up, this was an excellent show with some amazing talent. It’s been 20 years since the last big production of Jesus Christ Superstar toured Australia so here’s hoping we dont have to wait another 20 years for it to come back.
Like all my blogs, neither I nor DVDLand received any inducements to provide this blog. All tickets and related expenses were paid for by DVDLand.