100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

April 03, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 3, 1995

Ted Neeley's Jesus Christ remains a 'Superstar'

By Mark Carlson
Daily Arts Writer
"Jesus Christ Superstar" is a rock
opera. Sometimes (as with the 20th
Anniversary recording of the show)
people forget this fact and turn the
show into a boring and.cheesy piece
of straight musical theater.
Wednesday night's performance
by the "Superstar" national touring
company at the Michigan Theater
stayed on track for most of the show,
only a few times diving into the murky
depths of soullessness exemplified
by many recent versions of the show.

The touring company bases its
show mainly on the 1973 movie ver-
sion, bringing that film's star, the
now 50-year old Ted Neeley, along
with it, reprising his role as Jesus
Christ. Though it would make sense
that Neeley's guttural wailings which
made him famous in the '70s would
have an ill-effect on his singing over
20 years, his performance Wednes-
day night was better than ever.
Neeley's stage presence was un-
wavering and his voice sounded much
more powerful than it did in the movie.
Though there are serious questions as
to whether or not a 50-year old is
completely believable as Jesus Christ,
there is no doubt that he can still put
on quite a show.
While the legendary Carl Ander-
son (also from the movie) recently
departed from the company, the role
of Judas was played well by Gary
Rowland. The part of Judas is incred-
ibly important to the show, and
Rowland did a fine job singing the
part of everyone's least favorite
apostle. Unfortunately, while his sing-
ing was done well and his acting was
perfect for the part, he did not com-
mand much stage presence. His ex-
pressions were wonderfully acted, but
his movements often looked uncom-
fortable. He did not sing and scream

with the gruffness of Anderson and
original Judas, Murray Hedd. He did
have soul, though, and this came shin-
ing through on huge numbers such as
"Damned For All Time" and "Super-
star."
The rest of the cast did well, with
a few exceptions. The part of
Caiaphas, the evil high priest, was
performed incredibly by Christopher
b RVEW
Jesus Christ
Superstar
Michigan Theater
March 29, 1995
P. Carey. With his super low-pitch
vocals and scary looks, Carey easily
convinced the crowd of his character's
foul nature. His cohorts, Annas and
the rest of the priests, were equally
nasty, and the crew of priests nearly
stole the show with rockin' versions
of "This Jesus Must Die" and "Blood
Money."
Another pleasant surprise came
from the extremely young Jason
Rayze, who commanded the part of
Pontius Pilate with power and grace.
Although Raize is only 19, he had

more presence than almost anyone on
stage. He was extremely convincing
from his first scene in "Pilate's
Dream" to his final burst of rage in
"Trial Before Pilate."
Not so convincing were the roles
of Mary Magdalene, played by Chris-
tine Rea, and the Apostles. Rea had a
fine singing voice, but it seemed more
suited to modern pop music than the
smooth soul of "Everything's Alright"
and "I Don't Know How To Love,
Him."
The main apostles, Simon and
Peter, were played rather blandly by
Anthony DiBenedetto and David
Burnham, respectively. Simon's num-
ber is usually an uplifting high point
of the show, but DiBenedetto was
quite mediocre and didn't contribute
much to the part.
By far the low point of the
evening, the usually hilarious
"Herod's Song" was completely
destroyed by some moron who de-
cided that Herod would be cute if
portrayed as an Elvis impersonator.
Not only was this a stupid idea that
has been used too much already (an
Elvis impersonator plays a large
part in Andrew Lloyd Weber's other
biblical musical, "Joseph and the
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"),
but it wasn't in the least bit funny or
entertaining. This was due prob-
ably to the fact that Herod actor P.J.
Terranova is a horribly cheesy per-
former to begin with, let alone what
happens when you get him to do
Elvis impersonations.
The touring company put on a

I

M
E
N
S
H
E
A
L
T
H
E
N
T

~o~rw~ .Ad

decent staging of the show, and the
incredible music shone through any
flaws with the cast. Although there

were moments that weren't so great,
there were a lot of wonderful things
going on.

Soh

12-1 TOWN MEETING
' Commieelon for Women
Rackham Auditorium
1-1:30 MIWH ORGANIZATiONAL MEETING
Hussey Room, Michigan League
1:30-3:45 FAMILIES & HEALTH ACROSS
A WOMAN'S LIFE SPAN
Hussey Room, Michigan League
4-5 THE WOMAN'S HEALTH MOVEMENT
Judy Norelgian
5oston Women's Health Dook Collective
Rackham Amphitheater
Reception to Follow

730-9:30 THEY CALL ME OR. GREEK
An original production performed by
Barbara Tarbuck and based on Austra-
lian feminist Germaine Greer's writings
on women's health and aging. A light
reception and discusslon with Me.
Tarbuck will follow the performance.

Saturday, April 8, 1995 - 8:00 pm Hill Auditorium
Tickets: $10, 8, 5 Students $3
Available at the MUTO or the Hill Box Office 764-8350
Credit card orders call 763-TKTS

Sponsored by the MIchigan Initiative for Women'e Health (MI WH), the Women'e Studlee Program, the Theater Depart-
ment, and the Commleelon for Women. For more Information, please call the MIWH Frogram Office at 747-0472.

6)

Also appearinq, 7h1 FRIARS

.

I

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan