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1973 vs. 2000 
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The 2000 movie was an example of a good concept poorly presented.

A modern, semi-apocalyptic Superstar could work quite well, and to be honest, I liked the costumes, the set and the fact that some of the Moog synth lines were made into more guitar solos. However, the performances were not as good as many others, although I love Pradon's Judas.

Simon had plenty of energy and seemed like, well, a zealot, but playing him as a charismatic boy-band type isn't really right for the character. His brandishing weapons at the end of the song, a good move for the piece, didn't work with the character he had created. If he had been played more as an AlQuaeda terrorist, or even as an anarchist punk, the scene would have made more sense. I saw a production once in which on "We will win ourselves a home!" Simon threw aside his robe, revealing sticks of dynamite strapped to his body. I liked the image.

The priests, in my opinion, were great. Annas's voice, though not up to the soprano B's through D's originally sung, was chilling and effective. Caiaphas was, in my opinion, near perfect. Glenn Carter was sub-par, and I've heard him do better in JCS boots. Pilate's Nazi energy was entertaining at first, but got old. He wasn't smooth and sinister enough. I still favor Danny Elfman to play both Pilate and Herod on a studio recording.

Rik Mayall, as always, was entertainingly abrasive as Herod.

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Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:24 pm
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I don't think Annas does Soprano notes; he hits Top C at the most.

Anyway, I agree, it could've been good. The North American Tour (with Kunze) had the same set and costumes, but it was so much better. The singers could actually sing...AND act! :)

I wish it lasted longer...

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Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:16 am
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Lazarus (Adam G) wrote:
I don't think Annas does Soprano notes; he hits Top C at the most.

Anyway, I agree, it could've been good. The North American Tour (with Kunze) had the same set and costumes, but it was so much better. The singers could actually sing...AND act! :)

I wish it lasted longer...


Laz, the tour lasted four years. What more do you want? :)

I'll admit, the tour was much beter than trhe 2000 film... even though I enjoy it, but I will stop right there.

Andy.

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Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:27 am
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Hmm... I don't know. I don't have the original score, I only have the revival and subsequent tour piano-conductor score, and I think, unless i'm wrong, he goes to the D. But I'll check.

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Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:26 pm
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Yeah, but two of those years Sebastian Bach stared as Jesus.

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Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:36 pm
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Lazarus (Adam G) wrote:
Yeah, but two of those years Sebastian Bach stared as Jesus.


No further comment.

Andy.

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Productions:
GREASE 1997 (Chorus boy)
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JCS 2003 (Apostle/Swing)
IOLANTHE 2004 (Peer)
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CANAJUN EH? (2007)
CHRISTMAS LOVE TRAIN (2007)


Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:39 pm
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Monsieur D'Arque wrote:
The 2000 movie was an example of a good concept poorly presented.

A modern, semi-apocalyptic Superstar could work quite well, and to be honest, I liked the costumes, the set and the fact that some of the Moog synth lines were made into more guitar solos. However, the performances were not as good as many others, although I love Pradon's Judas.

Simon had plenty of energy and seemed like, well, a zealot, but playing him as a charismatic boy-band type isn't really right for the character. His brandishing weapons at the end of the song, a good move for the piece, didn't work with the character he had created. If he had been played more as an AlQuaeda terrorist, or even as an anarchist punk, the scene would have made more sense. I saw a production once in which on "We will win ourselves a home!" Simon threw aside his robe, revealing sticks of dynamite strapped to his body. I liked the image.

The priests, in my opinion, were great. Annas's voice, though not up to the soprano B's through D's originally sung, was chilling and effective. Caiaphas was, in my opinion, near perfect. Glenn Carter was sub-par, and I've heard him do better in JCS boots. Pilate's Nazi energy was entertaining at first, but got old. He wasn't smooth and sinister enough. I still favor Danny Elfman to play both Pilate and Herod on a studio recording.

Rik Mayall, as always, was entertainingly abrasive as Herod.


Agree with everything, except on Pradon and Mayall :)


Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:17 pm
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kittengoespop wrote:
Believe it or not, I'm going to disagree with Jesus on this one. I think the 1973 movie is a godawful piece of trash movie that isn't worth anyone's time to watch. I hate hippies and I don't think that the show has anything to do with hippies or should. I much prefer the vaguely Orwellian post-apocolyptic netherworld idea, and I think it's a lot darker and more chilling than wacky hippies. And, being a fan of Caiaphas, I much prefer Frederick Owens over Bob Bingham. Bingham just doesn't do it for me with his raspy bass voice, and the costume he's wearing is absolutely laughable, with that stupid hat. The priests should inspire much more fear than that, which I feel was properly accomplished in the 2000 movie version.

So, that's my two cents. I'm sure I'm the only person in the world who feels this way, but at least I've expressed my opinion.


You prefer the 2000 movie because it is exactly the blatent, offensively obvious attempt at symbolism and sublty that appeals to psuedo theatre academics. If you had any sense of real theatricality then you would be aware that, in real life, there is no such thing as "Good vs Evil" and any attempt to portray this concept on a stage, or in a film, usually results in a hokey, comic book type product.

Annas and Caiaphas should not be devoutly "evil" at least if the director wants them to be seen as real human beings. And while, yes, for the purposes of the story they are the antagonist, it is far more interesting to watch human beings struggle with a decision, than it is to watch comic book villians verbalize what their purpose is. The 1973 movie has the advantage here because A) The director understood what is really interesting and compelling for an audience to watch and B) because of the inclusion of "Then We are Decided" a nice little tune which goes miles in further drawing Annas and Caiaphas as real human characters. The idea that the Priests should inspire fear has long confused me. Are they to be
Satan incarnate? These intrinsicly evil beings with no conscience or humanity? The audience should be frightened not by their appearence or characterization, or costumes or the pathos surrounding them, it should be the fact that they are able to come to the conclusion that this man is such a threat to their power, and that they prize their power so much, that they decide the only course of action is his death. This decision, and the zeal with which they pursue their goal should be what is frightening, NOT the priests themselves.

People often look at Superstar as a piece which humanizes Jesus and Judas, but in reality, the piece offers the chance to any who might take it, to humanize the story in it's entirety. Annas and Caiphas were PEOPLE, not villians, Pilate was a PERSON, with conflicts and reservations, Mary was a PERSON, with desires, both emotional and sexual, Peter was a PERSON, with regrets and hope.

The first thing Gale Edwards does in the 2000 movie is draw her line in the sand. "These are the good guys, and these are the bad guys." * Jewison presents the story from a resolutely human perspective. No one is devoutly one thing. Everyone has a thought process and a conflict, thus providing for an inherently more compelling, and infinetly more effective piece. We see a reality, rather than a post apocalyptic psuedo Gotham City.

*And when she does draw these lines, I think she draws Judas on the wrong side. I mean, firstly, I never once saw any love, or even a hint of friendship between Jesus and Judas. And in all honestly when Judas did kill himself I was glad, I didn't feel for him at all. I think most people would be happy to see the jerk who LICKED their friend for no apparent reason other that to piss people off, hang from the bloody rafters.

A note on the hats, and the overall 1973 production design. Personally I think that everything about the 1973 film is strategic. Designers don't make choices for no reason, unless they're bad designers. The 2000 movie's intentions were plain enough, seeing as they beat you over the head enough to make you dizzy. The 1973 design intentions I think, were more subtle, and dare I say it, subliminal. The first thing they say to the audience is "This isn't your traditional Passion." Helping, hopefully, the audience to shed at least some of the preconcieved notions associated with such a prolific story. The costumes, especially in the cases of Pilate and the Priests, traditionally "evil" characters go a long way to accomplishing this. Seeing Pilate in those fantastic aviators, my first reaction now, is a bit of a giggle, because it is so dated. But in 1973 people's first reaction may very well have been..."Hey I have those same glasses." Thus instantly loosing some of the stigma associated with Pilate. As for the Priests. The reaction to their hats both now, and in 1973 has, in my experience, always been a good laugh. In all honesty they are ridiculous. But THATS THE POINT. The second we see these characters who were have already (perhaps not consciously) slated as the bad guys, in such crazy attire, some of the preconcieved notions we associate with them fade away. These aren't the villians of the bible. I can laugh at them EVEN THOUGH I KNOW they are going to kill Jesus. It's a fantastic device used liberally in Superstar, because of necessity. It helps the audience to see each character, not as what they went into the theatre prepared to see, but as what Jewison wants the audience to see...PEOPLE!
Jesus.


Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:13 pm
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Spoken like a true fan.

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Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:52 am
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Score.

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Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:04 pm
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I never viewed Pradon's Judas as "evil" or bad." He was simply beating Jesus over the head with his remarks and cynicism. He wqs saying "Listen to me! Now! NOW!! Listen, damn it!"

Pradon tells a story of Judas Iscariot, the Zealot. Not a disillusioned Evangilist - no matter how much I love Anderson's Judas. Pradon may have looked at the historical Judas for his portrayal.

The historical Judas was from another country. He probably spoke the same language as Jesus and his Apostles, but he may have spoken other languages as well.

His father was a Zealot, and following in the family tradition, Judas became one himself. Zealots, like everyone else including the Sanhedrin) were waiting for "the Christ" or "Messiah" to appear and overthroiw Rome. This would have excited the you Judas, until he saw his father crucified and or followed "false Messiahs." Therefore filling Judas with doubt.

He meets up with Jesus somewhere along the line. He sees Jesus as the one he's been waiting for. He also is Jesus' intulecual match. They talk, they think, the drink and ewat together and become best friends.

HOWEVER, Judas is older than Jesus by maybe a few years. He watches the Ministry of Christ develop and change through three years. To Judas, this man is falling into the same trap as the other Messiah's did.

Judas tries to tell his friend what he has seen, but is ignored. Judas, seeing that he has been betrayed by his friend is filled with resentment.

He sees his former lover, Mary of Magdalla (Magdalene) fooling arounfd with Jesus, giving him attention he doesn't deserve.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Andy.

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JCS 2003 (Apostle/Swing)
IOLANTHE 2004 (Peer)
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CANAJUN EH? (2007)
CHRISTMAS LOVE TRAIN (2007)


Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:32 pm
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Wrong. We know your view of what leads to the 2000 version.

Fact of the matter is, the rest of the story will never be truly told, no matter how many lost books of the Bible are found, no matter how many musicals, movies, books, and what-have-you are written. The rest of the story will be forever elusive until the day that all is known.

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Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:12 pm
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