October 1, 2022

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50 years on, Jesus Christ Superstar rocks in style: Review

It’s a minor difficult to grasp these times but 50 percent a century in the past Andrew Lloyd Webber was edgy. The 50th-anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” onstage at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Undertaking Arts in Orlando, reminds us of that in design and style.

Right before everything else, “Jesus Christ Superstar” was a rock album. And this generation is created as a rock concert — from the opening notes peeling off an electric guitar, its participant illuminated onstage in a single spotlight.

If location the story of the previous week of Jesus’s existence to a rock rating triggered a stir back again in the early 1970s, bringing the present back again to its roots feels impressed.

Absent is the literal pageant portrayal of the biblical events, and rather the concentration is on the emotion uncovered in the songs. The 3 principal voices — Aaron LaVigne as Jesus, Omar Lopez-Cepero as Judas and Jenna Rubaii as Mary Magdalene — are all robust and very well-suited to the necessary belting, but come across moments of tenderness much too.

The performers’ singing outweighs their acting, which means some of the smaller sized emotional times really don’t resonate like they could, but director Timothy Sheader compensates with visual things that each include to the rock-live performance feeling and complement the emotions.

Gold glitter, silver paint, stylized palm fronds — it can really feel like a higher-idea songs online video from the times when MTV was intrigued in these kinds of things. But it all adds up to a heightened feeling of a thing unparalleled going on, which of study course, there was.

Drew McOnie’s choreography has a large portion to enjoy in placing the temper, as very well. In it, I observed the mob mentality that dominated the day. The crowd usually moves as just one, mimicking each other, fueled by a person another’s power. Their actions can be quick and sharp, full of the pent-up anger and vitality of the oppressed.

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The effective on the other hand — that would be high priest Caiaphas and his cohort — go in a kind of furtive gradual motion, not keen for improve, wanting to protect the standing quo. Everything about the priests, from their staffs-turned-microphones to their gliding entrances is just the right combine of lust for electricity and panic of change. Hold an eye on Tyce Inexperienced, who performs priest Annas with a blast of tenor that oozes privilege and contempt. (Hey Caiaphas, performed with the requisite thrilling vocal range by Alvin Crawford, I’d look at your again.)

With every little thing amped up, it’s more durable for Paul Louis Lessard’s glam-rocker King Herod to make as significantly of an effects, and the clever choreography of his minions actually upstages him.

On opening night time, the sound level was great for the soloists but the ensemble felt muffled in the blend — even the soul singers belting out the title-tune refrain essential far more quantity.

LaVigne and Lopez-Cepero make deserving adversaries and indeed, it’s tough when rock singing, but both of those could use a bit far more Broadway diction in spots to give Tim Rice’s lyrics their due.

Rubaii’s Mary and Tommy McDowell’s Peter get a person of the most interesting sequences — making a series of motionless tableaux in the course of the flogging of Jesus an homage to biblical illustrations or stained-glass home windows, possibly? The scenes are curiously impacting and the two audio beautiful on the “Could We Start Again Be sure to?” duet.

This stimulating tour exhibits that at age 50-as well as, “Jesus Christ Superstar” has not lost its edge.

  • Size: 95 minutes, no intermission
  • Where by: Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Centre for the Carrying out Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. in Orlando
  • When: Via June 12
  • Charge: $44.50 and up
  • Details: drphillipscenter.org

Locate me on Twitter @matt_on_arts, facebook.com/matthew.j.palm or email me at [email protected]. Want more theater and arts news and testimonials? Go to orlandosentinel.com/arts. For much more pleasurable things, adhere to @enjoyment.issues.orlando on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.