Sunday, October 03, 2004

Musical Asks – Who Is Jesus?

The story of Jesus continues to touch deeply raw emotions and beliefs. Christians and non-Christians alike continue to ask questions about the historical Jesus: “who was this Jesus anyway?” Was Jesus man? Was Jesus God? Or, was/is he both?

Charlottetown’s ACT (a community theatre) is staging this November Jesus Christ Superstar, a production that also poses questions central to considering Jesus and the impact the Jesus story has had on the world. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s powerful music and lyrics carry one to a new understanding and appreciation of this central Christian story.

Recently many experienced Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.  Jesus Christ Superstar is a similarly powerful depiction of the life of Jesus. The depth of emotion and meaning in the lyrics can be contemplated over and over again.  Jesus Christ Superstar appeals to people of all ages. It is a mix of intense drama with 1960s/70s music, emotional solos, a pulsing beat and stirring orchestral backing.

Surprisingly Judas, and not Jesus, is the central figure in the play. Judas, disillusioned, does not believe that Jesus is God. He feels Jesus’ followers are going too far. He betrays Jesus perhaps not for pieces of silver, but possibly because he sees Jesus as a social activist who is out of control and in danger of angering the occupying Roman forces. Later, however, Judas begins to believe and out of despair he kills himself.

Near the end of the production, Judas wails singing I have been splattered with innocent blood. The chorus asks in song the central question, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Who are you? What have you sacrificed?

The ACT production features a cast of 45 with an orchestra, and plays at Confederation Centre of the Arts November 4th, 5th, and 6th. Tickets are affordable for a main stage performance at $16 and $18, and are available at the Confederation Centre Box Office at 566-1267.


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Posted by webmaster on 10/03 at 12:21 PM
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