Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s most popular musicals. The show began life as a concept recording which become popular in America and the UK charts. Due to the scale of the show, Producers were scared to take it on, but the original production opened on Broadway in 1971, before opening in London in 1972. The musical is a loose account of the Gospels in the final week leading up to Jesus’ death, ending with the crucifixion. The main focus is on the relationship between Judas and Jesus that have been invented for the musical. Despite some controversy all over the world, the show has been successful in various countries and is a popular choice to be performed by amateur and church companies. Numerous revivals have thought of different ways to present the story and have updated the events to a modern setting.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Tim Rice

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Tom O’Horgan

The Bible

Robert Stigwood

Tom O’Horgan

Jesus Christ Superstar Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Mark Hellinger Theatre - Opened 12 Oct 1971, closed 1 Jul 1973, 711 performances

Cast: Jeff Fenholt, Yvonne Elliman, Ben Vereen, Barry Dennen & Anita Morris.

Jesus Christ Superstar Original London

Original London Production

Palace Theatre - Opened 1 Jan 1972, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Paul Nicholas as Jesus, Stephen Tate as Judas and Dana Gillespie as Mary.

Jesus Christ Superstar 1st Broadway Revival

First Broadway Revival

Longacre Theatre - Opened 23 Nov 1977, closed 12 Feb 1978

Jesus Christ Superstar London Revival Lyceum

First London Revival

Lyceum Theatre - Opened 1 Sep 1996, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Steve Balsamo and Zubin Varla as Jesus and Judas, and Joanna Ampil

Jesus Christ Superstar 2nd Broadway Revival

Second Broadway Revival

Ford Centre of Performing Arts - Opened 16 Apr 2000, closed 3 Sep 2000

Jesus Christ Superstar 3rd Broadway Revival

2012 Broadway Revival

Neil Simon Theatre - Opened 22 Mar 2012, closed 1 Jul 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour 2012

2012 Stadium Tour

02 Arena - UK National Tour - Opened 21 Sep 2012, closed 28 Mar 2013

Cast: Ben Forster, Mel C, Tim Minchin

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Son of God causes stir in Jerusalem. Loved by a prostitute, betrayed with a kiss. A camp Herod and dreamy Pilate + angry mob = crucifixion

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Jesus Christ Superstar follows the last seven days in the life of Jesus Christ. Beginning with a rock Overture, we are introduced to Jesus’s supporters as they clash with the officials of Jerusalem. We are introduced first to Judas who delivers an internal monologue about the dangers Jesus is getting himself into ‘Heaven on their Minds’. He is critical of Jesus’s celebrity status. During ‘What’s the Buzz’ we see how his followers hang off his every word, although Judas tries to ground him and openly criticise him. Mary Magdalene jumps to his defence and tries to relax Jesus by telling him ‘Everything’s Alright’. The Priests meet together to discuss the Jesus problem and the best way of getting rid of him ‘This Jesus Must Die’. Jesus rides the donkey into town, and is greeted by palms and crowds of people, ‘Hosanna’. Simon Zealotes tries to spur him into action, but Jesus tells the crowd they must be patient, as God has plans for the whole of ‘Poor Jerusalem’. On an empty stage, Pilate wakes from a dream in which he has been warned of Jesus and sees his fate played out in front of him as he takes the blame for killing the Son of God. It’s market day and ‘The Temple’ becomes a den of thieves. Jesus overthrows the tables and throws everyone out. He is swamped by lepers trying to get help from him. Mary relaxes him and confesses that ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’. The Priests approach Judas and offer him ‘Blood Money’ for betraying Jesus. He accepts.

At ‘The Last Supper’ Jesus tells his disciples that he knows he will be betrayed, first by Peter and then by someone else. After arguing with Judas, they settle down to sleep and Jesus visits the garden of ‘Gethsemane’ to question God alone. This leads to ‘The Arrest’ and ‘Peter’s Denial’ of seeing Christ that evening. Jesus is taken to Pilate who torments him, sending him to Herod to explain himself. Herod delivers a camp over the top showbiz number and tells him to ‘get out’, sending him back to Pilate to meet his fate. Mary and Peter ask ‘Could We Start Again Please’ along with the other Apostles. Judas is overcome with what he has done and kills himself in shame. Jesus stands trial before Pilate and is lashed 39 times for not speaking up. The mob turn against him and demand for him to be crucified. Judas renters and asks Christ if it was all worth it in ‘such a strange land’ and sings ‘Superstar’. Jesus is put on the cross and dies.


Act I

“Overture” – Orchestra
“Heaven on Their Minds” – Judas
“What’s the Buzz” / “Strange Thing Mystifying” – Apostles, Jesus, Mary, Judas, Peter, Woman
“Everything’s Alright” – Mary, Women, Judas, Jesus, Apostles
“This Jesus Must Die” – Annas, Caiaphas, Apostles, Priests
“Hosanna” – Apostles, Caiaphas, Jesus, Ensemble
“Simon Zealotes” / “Poor Jerusalem” – Apostles, Simon, Jesus, Ensemble
“Pilate’s Dream” – Pilate
“The Temple” – Ensemble, Jesus
“Everything’s Alright (reprise)” – Mary, Jesus
“I Don’t Know How to Love Him” – Mary
“Damned for All Time” / “Blood Money” – Judas, Annas, Caiaphas, Chorus

Act II

“The Last Supper” – Apostles, Jesus, Judas
“Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)” – Jesus
“The Arrest” – Judas, Jesus, Peter, Apostles, Ensemble, Annas, Caiaphas
“Peter’s Denial” – Maid by the Fire, Peter, Soldier, Old Man, Mary
“Pilate and Christ” – Pilate, Annas, Jesus, Ensemble
“King Herod’s Song (Try it and See)” – Herod, Dancers
“Could We Start Again Please?” – Mary, Apostles, Peter
“Judas’ Death” – Judas, Annas, Caiaphas, Chorus
“Trial Before Pilate (Including the Thirty-Nine Lashes)” – Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Jesus, Ensemble
“Superstar” – Judas, Soul Sisters, Angels
“The Crucifixion” – Jesus, Ensemble
“John Nineteen: Forty-One” – Orchestra


1972 Tony Award Nominations: Best Score, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Performance in a Leading Role.

1997 Laurence Olivier Nomination: Best Musical Revival

2012 Tony Award Nomination: Best Musical Revival


UK: Really Useful Group

USA: R & H Theatricals


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