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Jesus Christ Superstar

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber


Opened: 1970
At: West End



Jesus Christ Superstar is a production, and this is a general overview of that production.

Synopsis[]

Act I[]

Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve Apostles, worries that the followers of Jesus are getting out of control and may be seen as a threat by the Roman Empire, who might harshly suppress them ("Heaven on Their Minds").

The other apostles anticipate entering Jerusalem alongside Jesus and ask him about his plans, but Jesus tells them not to worry about the future. Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene tries to help Jesus relax. Judas warns Jesus to avoid Mary, because a relationship with a prostitute could be seen as inconsistent with his teachings and be used against him. Jesus scolds Judas, saying he should not judge others unless he is free of sin. Jesus then reproaches the apostles and complains that none of them truly care for him ("What's the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying").

Mary reassures Jesus while anointing him. Judas fumes that the money spent on fine oil should have been used to help the poor. Jesus reasons they do not have the resources to end poverty, and that they should treasure what comforts they possess ("Everything's Alright").

Meanwhile, Caiaphas, the High Priest of Israel, assembles the Pharisees and priests. Like Judas, they fear that Jesus's followers will be seen as a threat by the Romans, and that many innocent Jews might suffer the consequences. Thus, Caiaphas concludes that for the greater good, Jesus must be executed ("This Jesus Must Die"). As Jesus and his followers arrive exultantly in Jerusalem, they are confronted by Caiaphas, who demands that Jesus disperse the crowd. Jesus instead greets them ("Hosanna"). Simon the Zealot suggests that Jesus lead his mob in a war against Rome and gain absolute power ("Simon Zealotes"). Jesus rejects this, stating that none of his followers understand what true power is ("Poor Jerusalem").

Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, has a dream in which he meets a Galilean and then receives the blame for the man's violent death at the hands of a mob ("Pilate's Dream"). Jesus arrives at the Temple and finds that it is being used as a marketplace; angered by this, he drives everyone out. A group of lepers ask Jesus to heal them. Their number increases, and overwhelmed, Jesus rejects them ("The Temple"). Mary Magdalene sings Jesus to sleep ("Everything's Alright (Reprise)"). While he sleeps, Mary acknowledges that she is in love with him, and it frightens her ("I Don't Know How to Love Him").

Conflicted, Judas seeks out the Pharisees and proposes helping them arrest Jesus, believing that Jesus is out of control and that Jesus himself would approve of this action. In exchange for his help, Judas is offered thirty pieces of silver. Judas adamantly refuses, but then accepts upon Caiaphas's suggestion that he could use the money to help the poor ("Damned for All Time/Blood Money").

Act II[]

Jesus shares a Passover meal with his disciples, where they get drunk and pay little attention to him. He remarks that "for all you care" the wine they are drinking could be his blood and the bread his body. He asks them to remember him, then, frustrated by their lack of understanding, he predicts that Peterwill deny him three times that night, and that another one of them will betray him. Judas admits that he is the one who will betray Jesus and, saying that he does not understand why Jesus had no plan, leaves ("The Last Supper").

The remaining apostles fall asleep as Jesus retreats to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He tells God his doubts about whether his mission has had any success and angrily demands to know why he should continue and suffer the horrible death that awaits him. Receiving no answer, he realizes that he cannot defy God's will, and surrenders to God. ("Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)"). Judas arrives with Roman soldiers and identifies Jesus by kissing him on the cheek. When Jesus is brought to trial before the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas and the priests send him to Pilate ("The Arrest"). Meanwhile, Peter is confronted by three witnesses of Jesus's arrest, to each of whom he denies that he knows Jesus. Mary observes that Jesus had predicted this ("Peter's Denial").

Pilate asks Jesus if he is the King of the Jews. Jesus answers "that's what you say". Since Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate says that he is not under his jurisdiction and sends him to King Herod ("Pilate and Christ"). The flamboyant King Herod pressures Jesus to prove his divinity by performing miracles, but Jesus ignores him. Herod angrily sends him back to Pilate ("King Herod's Song"). Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the apostles remember when they first began following Jesus, and wish that they could return to a time of hope and peace ("Could We Start Again, Please?").

Judas is horrified at Jesus's harsh treatment. He expresses regret to the Pharisees, correctly dreading that he will forever be remembered as a traitor. Caiaphas and Annas assure him that he has done the right thing. Judas chucks the money he was given to the floor, and storms out. He curses God for manipulating him, and commits suicide ("Judas' Death").

At Jesus's trial, Pilate attempts to interrogate Jesus, but is cut off by a bloodthirsty mob which demands that Jesus be crucified. Unnerved, he tells the mob that Jesus has committed no crime and does not deserve to die, but to satisfy the mob he will have Jesus flogged. Pilate pleads with Jesus to defend himself, but Jesus says weakly that everything has been determined by God. The crowd still calls for Jesus's death and finally Pilate reluctantly agrees to crucify Jesus ("Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes)").

As Jesus awaits crucifixion, the spirit of Judas returns and questions why Jesus chose to arrive in the manner and time that he did, and if it was all part of a divine plan after all ("Superstar"). Jesus is crucified, recites his final words and dies ("The Crucifixion"). Jesus' body is taken down from the cross and buried ("John 19:41").

Productions[]

This describes any professional productions of the show that have taken place, be they Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway, Touring, etc.

Song List[]

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Character List[]

This is a description of the character above.

Amateur Productions[]

This is a place to list community, high school, semi-professional, etc. productions, along with the dates.

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