Sky is Blue, there’s a breeze in the air, and it’s not too hot. Funny how fluctuations in weather patterns remind us of another season. Even though it’s summer, Autumn is in the air.
Saw an energized version of Jesus Christ Superstar, last night. It brought me back to 1973, when the musical was popularized. It was revolutionary for young people, brought up with a religious education, especially a Catholic one. For the first time it portrayed Jesus as a real man, with desires, hopes and dreams. Criticized by Judas for his associations with Mary Magdalene, Christ defended her and said, “So what if she is different?”
The scene that stands out for me is when Jesus is being mobbed by the blind, the cripples, and the beggars, asking him for a cure. In his frustration to get the people to stop pulling on his clothes and mauling him, he shakes them off like insects. Then he screams at the top of his lungs, “Heal yourselves!”
The success of this musical, then and now, is because every scene is modeled like a baroque work of art, in that it captures the height of emotion, of each character. Their feelings become our feelings through the lyrics, tempo and intensity of the music, by which they are conveyed. Not to mention the accompanying action through dance. The audience feels what is transformed by the actors on stage.
Everything comes together; thoughts, reactions, remembering, on this halcyon day of summer, when Autumn stopped by and said, “Hello” The sad story of Jesus reminded me of what goes on, day by day. The good, the bad and the ugly. After all, Christ died for our sins, a metaphor for life and death, and to show how imperfect we are, but at the same time, Christ wanted better, from his fold. He hoped each would follow his creed, of faith, hope, and charity. The opera accentuates the sinful existence of human beings, and shows the dark side, of who we are.