Read the review highlights following the JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR opening on Broadway last week.
By Chris Jones
As he did in Stratford last summer, McAnuff embraces one of the musical theater’s most unusual, famous, bizarre, historically audacious and, in this instance, thoroughly enjoyable properties with a production remarkably in sync with the material. The savvy set design, by Robert Brill, uses platforms, staircases and catwalks that, with the help of Paul Tazewell’s use of punky but oft-metallic attire, put one in mind of the show’s loose alignment with Deep Purple and the other British rock goliaths of its thunderous era. And then, during the spectacular crucifixion scene, he uses those ubiquitous news-crawls that fill the proscenium with text and, crucially, make you ponder the staying power of the words and persona of Jesus Christ, cutting though the very kind of noise we’ve just been enjoying. All of the classic song stylings feel like they’re in place and respectfully wailed by actors happy to sing their faces off.
NEW YORK POST
By Elisabeth Vincentelli
Hearing excellent singers deliver these tunes through powerful, crisp amplification is a primal thrill.
By Robert Feldberg
If you thought you had a bead on “Jesus Christ Superstar” — great rock score, elementary version of “the greatest story ever told” — the electric revival that opened Thursday night at the Neil Simon Theatre will induce serious second thoughts….”Jesus Christ Superstar” is indelibly a show of its time, but this production suggests that it was built to last.
By Michael Musto
This Superstar made me a believer again.
TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
By Kelly Nestruck
A revelatory production.
By David Rooney
Music director Rick Fox treats the rock-symphonic score and vocals with integrity appropriate to the era in which the material was born. And McAnuff’s pedal-to-the-metal direction never precludes sincerity as it weighs the once-controversial man-or-Messiah question. That means this staging is likely to speak to ‘70s nostalgists (guilty as charged) as well as younger musical fans curious to know what the fuss was about.
By Howard Shapiro
What a divine season it is for Jesus on Broadway. On one stage, nuns make a joyful noise in Sister Act. On another, he figures highly in The Book of Mormon. Yet another has him as the central figure in Godspell. And he is now in revival – here, we’re talking Broadway more than theology – in an effusive Jesus Christ Superstar, the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that opened Thursday. It’s full of powerful, melodic ’70s-tinged music – the show premiered in 1971 and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” broke out to become a hit. The score, with Rice’s clever lyrics and Lloyd Webbers many fanfare songs, is great fun to hear again, or probably also for the first time.
By Pat Collins
The prayers of Jesus Christ Superstar fans have been answered. The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera is back on Broadway with a heaven sent cast in director Des McAnuff’s dazzling production.
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By David Richardson
I could use every superlative adjective ever written in describing my evening in the theater the other night, but it’s more than obvious that I adored this new production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
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