The classics are usually adapted to the present. The story and the characters keep the same but the circumstances, the time in history and the reality is different. I’m sure most of you know that ‘West Side Story’ is an adaptation of the Shakespeare’s classic ‘ Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘The Lion King’ is inspired in ‘Hamlet’. Is great that great stories come to reality again inspiring new generations. In the case of the Bible and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ happens the same but with some differences.
Jesus Christ is an inspiration for many people, especially religious persons. But I also think that has something very interesting as well for the atheists. I’ll tell you why. He is like a hero, a revolutionary. He is the leader of a movement against the established system.
The system has changed in history. We live in a different world than Jesus’, but after 2015 years, many revolutions have come reality, many people have fight for what they believed. So it’s not a surprise that the story of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is adapted to other circumstances.
In the movie, you can see the actors playing the story of Jesus Christ, dressed as at that time. The entire environment reminds you of the days when Jesus was alive. But the new revivals and the movie released in 2000 are quite different. The characters are the same (Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene…), the situations too (the crucifixion, the last supper…) but the setting is new. Romans are represented as military, as an authoritarian system.
Jesus and his team are like a hippy group, with new ideas to fight against this unfair system. One of the last stage adaptations in New York of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was inspired in Occupy Wall Street movement. People are in the stage showing signs where you can read ‘We are the 99%’. This means that the story can be imagined again, with some new ideas that can inspire lot of people.
The Jesus’ revolution fails. He dies crucified, but the way he fights and inspires lots of people around him stays forever. In the musical Jesus is a leader, that’s more important than the fact he is the Son of God. That’s why his story can be moved to other scenarios and situations.
Does Jesus’ story inspires you in the musical?