‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is a very controversial show. In some countries it has been banned or boycotted by some religious groups. But this controversy is good for the show, because people wants to know what is all about and they go to see it. Is like a kind of indirect publicity.
For many reasons, the show is a success. It has been produced in many countries and translated to lots of languages. Definitely it’s considered a classic, one of the best shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think that one of the best things of the musical is that has been adapted by many amateur groups. That’s great, because it’s a way to bring the show to a lot of people.
It’s very difficult to know all the amateur productions of the show; the most important are the professional ones. So here you have a few list of some of the productions of the musical about Judas and Jesus.
The first production was in Broadway, in New York, in 1971 and closed two years later, in 1973 after 711 performances. It was nominated to many Tony Awards but didn’t win any.
In 1972 the show came to London and opened in the Palace Theatre, becoming one of the most successful shows in the West End, running for 8 years.
After been produced in London and Broadway, the musical started to go abroad. Of course the same controversy and the success went to all the new countries. One of the firsts countries to have a production of the show was Sweden in 1972. The people could see the show only for a few days, but Agnetha Fältskog, the star from ABBA, was playing Mary Magdalene.
In the 70’s the show was produced in many countries around the world, like South Australia, Paris, Singapore, Peru, Mexico and Spain. In my country arrived in November 1975 with the Spanish singer Camilo Sesto playing Jesus. He put 12 millions of pesetas to make the production. It was a very delicate moment because the fascist dictator died, so there was a lot of hope and also uncertainty of what was about to happen. So it’s quite brave that a controversial musical like ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was made at this time.
In the 80’s the musical was completely consolidated as a success. After being translated to several languages and produced in many countries, starts the time for the tour. In Australia starts the first tour of the show and also includes South-East Asia. Tours are a great opportunity for many people to discover the musicals and to make the live of the production longer.
Since the 90’s until now, the show has been produced in many countries and being toured all around the world. Also many revivals in Broadway and London have been created, so new generations have been able to see it. One of the most important productions is the arena tour. It started in 2012, after the TV reality ‘Superstar’ to find the actor who would play Jesus.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ has been produced in lots of countries like Brazil, Hungary, India, New Zealand, Italy, France, Mexico, Chile, Bulgaria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Australia, The Philippines, South Africa, Panama, Colombia, Croatia, Bolivia, Portugal and Netherlands. So probably is one of the most important shows in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s career.
Have you seen any other production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar‘?