JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Returns to Broadway at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Jesus Christ Superstar reinvented musical theater for the modern age when it first hit the shelves as an album in 1970. Jesus Christ Superstar was created as an album first because there was not one single producer who would help Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice bring it to the stage. Jesus Christ Superstar opened the very next year and ran for 711 performances, despite all the controversy it inspired.
Disclosure: This JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Returns to Broadway at Lyric Opera of Chicago post has been sponsored by The Motherhood. All opinions are mine. #LyricJCS
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has been performed in 20 countries and translated into 18 languages and is NOW on Chicago's biggest stage on Broadway at Lyric Opera of Chicago! I was so fortunate to be able to attend the dress rehearsal of Jesus Christ Superstar, at Lyric and as always, Lyric Opera of Chicago does not disappoint! See one of the 25 performances, April 27 through May 20!
If you are not a child of the 1970's, have not heard or seen the iconic music, Jesus Christ Superstar, is an international blockbuster rock opera that tells the last seven days of the life of Jesus Christ told primarily from the perspective of Judas Iscariot. Judas is concerned Jesus's messages will bring the wrath of the Romans down upon the Jews and more specifically, the Apostles. This rock opera builds off of 1970s-style music, where funk, soul, R&B, pop, hard rock, soft rock and disco all had a place during this decade. JCS is a contemporary look at the New Testament’s gospels, a biblical tale of Jesus and the musical choreographs are high-energy dance moves and really a compelling, powerful storytelling.
The emphasis on friendship and enemies in Jesus Christ Superstar is paramount in JCS. Jesus and Judas, Jesus and Mary, Peter, Simon, the Pharisees, Caiaphas and Annas, Jesus and Pontius Pilate, Jesus and King Herod. All these characters are singing their story in this Broadway musical in a live theater production at Lyric Opera.
It is not a secret that music pretty much rules my home. My daughters are both young violinists and have been playing for 9 years now. They play in several youth orchestras and a praise band; so any opportunity to hear live music is always much appreciated and looked forward to with great enjoyment. We have attended a few shows at Lyric and were looking forward to Jesus Christ Superstar. I brought my 14 year old daughter with me as she is really focused on music and it is pretty central to almost everything that she does these days.
I gave my daughter the basic synopsis of Jesus Christ Superstar and who created the show and music. I simply asked her to listen to the music and to think about all the instruments she could hear. I also told her that as she listened to the music, to think about how the music made her feel or what it made her think about. I wanted her to think about what mood the music from Jesus Christ Superstar inspired inside her or what colors she could use to describe and convey how the music made her feel.
Why is Opera Important?
Why is opera important? But more importantly, why should children see opera? Going to the opera is not just for adults. Any form of art is important to foster in our children today, but exposing them to different types of art can be inspiring. Why is any form of art important? Art allows children (and teens and adults alike) to be able to see others through a different form of medium. Connections are made with others in various forms of art, and music is something that all humans can relate to others.
Attending a live musical, or an opera, is a unique and thrilling experience. Live music can be powerful and emotional. Don't let certain facts about opera deter you from attending a production. Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric made a connection with the audience through their amazing voices. The principal artists are dealing with huge themes -- love, loss, betrayal, joy, anger, life and death. The storytelling in JCS is vivid, lively, amazing and powerful. This production was mesmerizing from start to finish, with several unforgettable highlights. If you have not heard any of the music previously or are unfamiliar with Jesus Christ Superstar, be sure to learn a bit about this rock opera first. The more you know about this story prior to seeing the musical, the more you will enjoy and appreciate the full production.
Jesus, played by Heath Saunders has a soulful voice that has a calming effect on His followers and Mary Magdalene, played by Jo Lampert, who is always close. The ensemble choreography is truly great dancing and they elevated the music of the Broadway musical, Jesus Christ Superstar to an entirely different level of greatness.
I Don't Know How to Love Him was gorgeously delivered and when Mary/Lampert moved through her registers and hit the upper register of her voice - just WOW! Damned for All Times literally had me feeling the full effect of Judas' regret when he, Ryan Shaw, sang the location of Jesus in the garden. I felt his sadness. Jesus/Saunders had such amazing control of the dynamics in his performance and when he sang the words, 'my time is over' in The Temple, I literally had shivers running down my arms. Gethsemane was my favorite song of Jesus Christ Superstar. It was powerful and Saunders literally made you feel the sadness and despair deep in my heart. Saunders nailed it! Jesus Christ Superstar's cast can dance, act and sing. And yes, they are beautiful.
8 Fun Facts About Jesus Christ Superstar
- Over 80 artists on stage
- 9 principal artists
- 39 ensemble members
- 37 orchestra musicians
- 101 lights illuminate the 37 foot cross
- 150+ total costumes
- King Herod’s cape is 25 feet long
- 90 lbs of gold confetti at every show
What is Lyric Opera of Chicago used for?
Lyric Opera of Chicago, shaped like a gigantic throne, is home to one 3,563-seat-theater, a rehearsal hall, a stunning foyer, four restaurants, bars in the foyer and lobby, a champagne bar, a sushi bar, and a souvenir shop. You can watch everything from classical ballet performances to plays, dramas, touring operettas, musicals, and a great number of orchestral, dance, and vocal concerts. Lyric Opera of Chicago live theater shows are quite impressive. There is a great emphasis on creating large quality productions, such as Jesus Christ Superstar. The intimate theater's musicals are successful in using the full stage. If you are looking for a night to remember forever, Lyric Opera is the place to go.
Make a great evening in Chicago with friends, a date, your parents and even your children, with a visit to Lyric Opera House, because going to the opera is fantastic AND Lyric Opera is really quite a hidden gem in Chicago! If you are worried you won't like an opera, ease yourself in with a spring rock opera musical now by attending Jesus Christ Superstar. Whether you attend a matinee or an evening show, it will be fantastic. Simply walk into Lyric Opera and enjoy the grandiosity of the building. Wander about Lyric Opera House before curtain call and gaze at the gorgeous lobby, the theater and the balconies, take some selfies, maybe even have dinner before an evening show. Be sure to head to your seat early when the chimes summon you to your seat and gaze upon it all as you wait for the opening notes.
If you arrive well before the show, Lyric hosts free pre-opera talks before every performance of every opera in the mainstage season to enhance the opera-going experience. The discussion will be based on the opera you are about to see. Lyric Opera also offers backstage tours throughout the year that are open to public, students, and group visitors, where you will have an opportunity to see the footlights of this iconic theater
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has been performed in 20 countries and translated into 18 languages and is NOW on Chicago's biggest stage on Broadway at Lyric Opera of Chicago! I was so fortunate to be able to attend the dress rehearsal of Jesus Christ Superstar, at Lyric and as always, Lyric Opera of Chicago does not disappoint!
See one of the 25 performances, April 27 through May 20!
Offer is subject to availability, available for Monday-Saturday performances only, and not applicable to Main Floor Prime or Box seating. Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with another offer. Only specially allocated seat locations can be assigned. Prices subject to change. Exchanges are not guaranteed and discount may not carry over. Fees apply. Expires at the discretion of management.
Images courtesy of Lyric Opera and Todd Rosenberg and used with permission.