Jesus Christ Superstar: A Welcome Sight For Sore Eyes
My last Broadway show was supposed to be the Book of Mormon. Of course I didn’t know that I was going to be having a “last ” Broadway show. I guess none of us did. What I had was a rescheduled show that quickly turned into a canceled show. And immediately the Book of Mormon became the first of many things that would be canceled in the weeks and months to come. That was March, 2020. The month the curtain came down on Broadway. Well the month the curtain came down on everything, but for this story it’s Broadway I’m reflecting on. I think returning to live theater was one of the constant things that stayed with me during the long months of the pandemic. Granted, there were many things I missed, but because theater had always been such an escape for me, it was hard to not have it when I felt I needed it most.
And then came fall 2021, and Broadway was back. The fear of COVID-19 still hung in the air but thankfully theaters across the nation agreed that being vaxxed and masked was the only way to return safely and finally it was time for me to return to my favorite place, the theater. There seems to be something absolutely poetic that my first show after 2020 was none other than Jesus Christ Superstar at San Francisco’s legendary Golden Gate theater. But of course, not just any production of Jesus Christ Superstar, this North American tour is celebrating 50 years of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic rock opera masterpiece. I can’t think of a better way to reopen BroadwaySF’s Golden Gate Theatre.
For those of you not familiar, Jesus Christ Superstar is the story of the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. I grew up with the album and movie as an annual tradition at my house, so hearing the iconic notes begin as the cast took the stage I knew Broadway was back and better than ever. The dynamic duo of Director Timothy Sheader and choreographer Drew McOnie truly captured the magic of the original production while adding a feel that fit today’s post pandemic influencer world. In fact, it’s hard to miss one of the major plot points of Jesus Christ Superstar, the commentary on how we, as a society, have a tendency to place our celebrities on a ridiculous pedestal that wreaks havoc on us all. After 4 years of a reality show celebrity in the actual White House I would dare say this message might be more relevant today than it was when it was originally written… but I digress.
I was so happy to have this remarkable cast serve as my welcome back to Broadway! Aaron LaVigne‘s Jesus, James T. Justis as Judas, and Jenna Rubaii as Mary Magdalene were spot on with their interpretations of their roles, while Alvin Crawford‘s Caiaphas and Tyce Green‘s Annas stole the stage every time they were on it, Paul Louis Lessard’s maniacal Herod was perfection. But in my humble opinion it is Tommy Sherlocks’ Pilate who stole the entire show.
Jesus Christ Superstar, continues its run at BroadwaySF’s Golden Gate Theatre (1 Taylor Street, San Francisco) through November 7, 2021. Tickets are available at broadwaysf.com. If you’re in the Bay Area don’t miss it. Grab your mask and welcome back Broadway! If you’re not in the Bay Area the North America tour continues through 2022 and you can visit ustour.jesuschristsuperstar.com to find out when they’re coming to your town.
Just a quick PSA about theater; Go see it. Now more than ever. Most theaters small to large are serious about making us safe, so go see a show. Support all of them from your nearest large Broadway theater to your local high school theater. They need it now. The world needs it now.