Do You Think You’re What They Say You Are?

By | Apr 3, 2010

The story of the last seven days of Jesus was turned into a musical by the team Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

The soundtrack, sometimes called a Rock Opera, appeared on an album originally, in part because the producers were afraid to take a chance on producing in on stage due to the subject matter. The album had a rock influence with Ian Gillan, the lead singer of Deep Purple, singing the role of Jesus with Murray Head as Judus.

The album reach the Number 1 spot of the Billboard Album Charts for a total of three weeks. One week in late February with its return more than two months later for two weeks in May.

Later in 1971 on October 12th Jesus Christ Superstar premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York with Ben Vereen (Judas), Jeff Fenholt (Jesus), Yvonne Elliman (Mary), Barry Dennen (Pilate), and Paul Ainsley (Herod).

Two years later Director Norman Norman Jewison brought it to the screen, The film had Yvonne Elliman revising her role as Mary along with Barry Dennen as Pilate. Ted Neely took on the role of Jesus with Carl Anderson as Judas. Both Neely and the Anderson had been in the Broadway cast. Neely as the understudy to play Jesus and Anderson took over the role when Vereen fell ill.

Neely, now at 66 twice the age of Jesus, is currently on tour with a production of Jesus Christ Superstar that is scheduled to run through 2010.


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