Performance: The Regents Park Open Air Theatre Production
Tickets Available at : uktour.jesuschristsuperstar.com
I purchased tickets to “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow as soon as I saw they were on sale, a musical I’ve seen more times than I can count.
Steve Balsamo and Glenn Carter, who have portrayed Jesus in previous performances, left a lasting impression on me. Steve’s beautiful voice and solid acting always stood out, but Glenn Carter, for me, takes the crown. His exceptional acting and singing consistently wowed the audience, and I remember the poignant moment during “Gethsemane” when tears welled up all around the theatre.
However, this time, as soon as the curtains rose, it was evident that this rendition was unlike any I’d seen before. The entire cast seemed to have raided Zara for their outfits, with some rocking hoodies and trainers, giving the show a modern, streetwise vibe. This fresh take intrigued me, even though I didn’t spot any familiar faces playing Jesus. I reminded myself that I was here for the music I love.
The staging was unique, with lighting setting the mood beautifully. However, I found the numerous changes to the original screenplay slightly disorienting. It became clear that this was a complete reinvention. I embraced this new visual experience while holding on to the beloved music.
This reinvention indeed had its merits. The use of microphones was innovative, but it occasionally stole some of the intimacy from the performance. When Jesus picked up a guitar during “Gethsemane” it shifted the focus away from the emotions. But let me tell you, the actor portraying Jesus had a remarkable voice. The audience was left in awe when he eventually put the guitar down and gave his all. The latter part of the song lacked the emotional connection I had seen in previous performances due to the guitar distraction, but his voice alone was enough to move mountains.
As the show ended, I overheard mixed reviews while leaving the theatre. Looking at the audience’s age group, it became evident that many, like me, expected the original performance and didn’t realize they were in for a reinterpretation.
While this reinterpretation was well-executed, some aspects disrupted the flow of the story. The expressive dancing, at times, felt more like a distraction, and the use of microphones made it seem like a gig rather than a musical performance. Picking up guitars during emotionally charged scenes further added to the distractions. Despite this, the acting and singing in most parts were powerful.
The ensemble of dancers and singers was impeccable. Each performer delivered a standout performance. The actor playing Jesus, when not preoccupied with the guitar, had an exceptional voice that could move anyone.
If you’re a staunch fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original version, watching this reinterpretation may leave you with mixed feelings. The performance, staging, lighting, and dancing were all impressive, but certain elements, like the guitar, detracted from the emotional depth. Personally, I prefer the original, but that’s due to my attachment to it.
For younger readers or those who want to experience something fresh, this reinterpretation might be worth a try. Just keep in mind that the emotional connection from the original might be slightly diluted. I’m uncertain if I’d see this version again, but I’m glad I didn’t initially realize it was a different take. I would have missed out on witnessing incredible dancers, performers, and extraordinary singers.
In conclusion, if you’re a purist, you might want to stick to the original, but if you’re open to a reinterpretation with fantastic vocal performances, give it a shot.
|MY OVERALL RATING||★★★|
It’s important to note that all the views and opinions expressed in my blog posts and vlogs are entirely personal, have not been influenced in any way and reflect my individual perspective. I value authenticity and honesty above all, and my content is a genuine reflection of my thoughts and experiences.