The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Guilty Pleasures – Jesus Christ Superstar

With Easter being this weekend and all the theater stuff we did last week, it’s only logical that I got on a Jesus Christ Superstar kick.  This was one of the first musicals done by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – the team that also brought us Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Evita.  Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera that focuses on the last week of Jesus’ life up to his crucifixion.  Originally done on Broadway, it was made into a classic film in 1973.


When I was a kid, we had taped the movie from TV and I remember watching it with my brothers a million times.  I imagine my mother, who’s as devout a Catholic as most popes, didn’t really appreciate the portrayal of Jesus and his disciples as a bunch of unwashed hippies.  But I think she let us watch it because it’s like Catholicism through osmosis.  The downside was when I went to church school on Sundays.  It was kind of a bummer when Jesus wasn’t belting out high notes like a heavy metal singer.

As much as I loved it as a kid, in retrospect this is really a guilty pleasure.  First, it’s a bunch of hippies.  It was perfectly fine to be one back in 1973, but being one now is just ridiculously dated and pathetically out of touch.  (I think I may have just offended 60% of Ann Arbor.)

Second, Jesus Christ Superstar is religious.  Kinda.  Well, it’s at least more religious than that Pitbull song I just downloaded. And why’s religious bad?  It’s bad because rock and religion shouldn’t mix.  Think about it – rock is about rebellion, drugs, sex.  It’s the devil’s music.  And hell, the term “rock and roll” was a euphemism for sex.  So no, rock shouldn’t be religious.  Sorry, Stryper.

 Andrew Lloyd Weber

Finally, it’s Andrew Lloyd Webber, who’s considered to be the Katy Perry of musical composers. Critics love to hate the guy because his work is hugely commercial and not very deep or complex.  I don’t know if I’m enough of a musical theater expert to go all high-brow and ridicule Andrew Lloyd Webber. I like his stuff and it makes for a pleasurable entertainment experience.  Then again, I also love Katy Perry.

Jesus Christ Superstar does have its share of catchy songs.  I really like this one a lot.  Not only is it catchy, but it also highlights the awesome performances of Carl Anderson (Judas) and Ted Neely (Jesus).

Musical theater

But the best song of them all is this one.  I’m not even sure how it really fits into the story, but it’s just a downright beautiful song.  This clip is from the 2000 remake of the movie.

 Broadway musicals

Have you seen Jesus Christ Superstar?   Are you an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan?

Happy Easter if you celebrate it!



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

21 comments on “Guilty Pleasures – Jesus Christ Superstar

  1. Yinzerella
    March 29, 2013

    I adore “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” It’s the only number I know from JCSS. Oh, but I was in a production of Joseph so I can do that one backwards and forwards and in somersalts.
    Have a happy Easter!

  2. the drunken cyclist
    March 29, 2013

    A^2 only 60% hippies? Does that include hippie sympathizers or former hippies?

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 29, 2013

      Seems like more than 60. If we include sympathizers we might hit 85. Or at least it seems that way.

  3. JM Randolph
    March 30, 2013

    I love that show. Even after working on two productions of it, I still love it, because of the music. I did a fairly crappy tour of it in 2003 with Sebastian Bach as Jesus and Carl Anderson (yeah, the same one) as Judas. Both of them sang the hell out of the show. Then I did the revival last year on Broadway and had a blast. The band was amazing. Total guilty pleasure though. Even among ALW’s fans, it’s the one that it isn’t cool to like. That’s like. . .uncool cubed or something.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 30, 2013

      Wonder why? Because its religious or soooo 70s? Douglas was fantastic. I heard Sebastian Bach sang it really well. I did a Skid Row almost exactly a yr ago. Loved him in Gilmore Girls!

  4. Lindsay
    March 30, 2013

    I feel like we maybe are meant to be best friends? JCS is my favorite, I’ve known every lyric since I was 4, and I’m happy to prove it to you at any time. This will be my featured link tomorrow. Done and done.

    • Lindsay
      March 30, 2013

      Also don’t know why I’m not logged in. Also I’ve seen it live 3-4 times. Once with Ted Neeley, once with Carl Anderson,(rip love him) and one horrific time with Sebastian Bach. No comment on that.

      • thefoodandwinehedonist
        March 30, 2013

        Haha. I didn’t think I’d remember that much buy I knew every word in these vids. I heard Bach was pretty good. Bummer he sucked for u.

  5. Pingback: Easter Sunday Small Plates, Hosted by Jesus Christ Superstar | The Daily Sampler

  6. afterthekidsleave
    April 3, 2013

    One of my favourite movies. Know the libretto from beginning to end. Love the Norman Jewison treatment. You’re sure we’re not related, huh? 🙂

  7. TammyeHoney
    April 3, 2013

    That is one of those movies where you could watch it time after time and it is a true classic. Thank you for sharing.

  8. pegoleg
    April 4, 2013

    If JCS is “guilty” you must have pretty high standards for “innocent”. I’m geeky enough to admit I love most of this music. “Try Not To Get Worried” cycles through my brain whenever I’m getting stressed by daily life.

    This came out when I was a kid. A hip young teacher at my Catholic school was also our neighbor and he gave my parents the album for Christmas. My old fogie PARENTS! I thought he was so-o-o-o cool, it kind of made religion cool by association.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 5, 2013

      Been humming that song all week… ANd “high standards”? Silly you – this site has no standards. 🙂

  9. domingosaurus
    April 11, 2013

    JCS is one of the few Andrew Loyd Weber shows I’ve not been too. No particular reason, I just haven’t gotten around to it. (I know the music well, though.) The thing is, if it’s got a catchy tune, I dig it, and Andrew Loyd Weber certainly knows how to write a catchy tune, which is all I need when it comes to music,

    If I want deep or meaningful, I’ll read Dostoevsky, If I want to entertainment, I’ll go see Cats, (or Jesus Christ Superstar; same dif.)

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    August 30, 2013

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      September 5, 2013

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        September 5, 2013

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2013 by in Music, Television and tagged , , , , , .
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