Great Performances: Season 29, Episode 11

Jesus Christ Superstar (11 Apr. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,654 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 6 critic

A rock musical version of the Passion Play seen from the point of view of Judas.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Carter ...
Jérôme Pradon ...
Judas Iscariot (as Jerome Pradon)
Renée Castle ...
Fred Johanson ...
Frederick B. Owens ...
Michael Shaeffer ...
Pete Gallagher ...
First Priest (as Peter Gallagher)
Michael McCarthy ...
Second Priest
Philip Cox ...
Third Priest
Apostle / Ensemble (as Matthew Cross)
Kevin Curtin ...
Paul Vickers ...


The Passion of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. This popular rock musical is based on the 1996 London/2000 Broadway revivals of the show, directed by Gale Edwards. Re-orchestrated and set to modern times, it is not the Superstar of the 70's but rather one for the 21st Century. Written by Anonymous

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11 April 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Glenn Carter played Jesus as a political leader who let things get out of control rather than as a divine person. See more »


Judas: All your followers are blind... too much heaven on their minds!
See more »


Version of Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Generally okay production
12 April 2001 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

An interesting production, with a more "modernized" style (which was deliberate on the producers' and director's part, if you watch the post-tape "making of"). All the musical numbers are there, and that's always the strongest part of any JCS production. Glenn Carter is mostly harmless. Jerome Pradon gives it all, but no one seems able to decide exactly what his character's motivation is. He ranges from sarcastic and demeaning towards Jesus early on, towards a more "tortured" aspect as he is drawn into the betrayal.

Fred Johanson and Renee Castle are probably the strongest consistent performers throughout. Rik Mayall seems weak as Herod, apparently cast here more as a novelty than anything. The Herod scene also demonstrates one of Carter's problems: he seems incapable of reacting here, almost unsure of _how_ he's supposed to be reacting, like Pradon throughout. Carter seems more concerned that he'll be stepped on by the Herod dancers then the fact he's on trial for his life.

The staging is well done. The costuming is somewhat debateable. Okay, they wanted to update for the 21st century, but do we really need Roman guards dressed like Darth Vader and Pharisees dressed like Cenobites from Hellraiser? There's a curious de-emphasis on dancing and choreography: only the Herod piece is really strong here. The "Simon Zealotes" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" numbers are irritatingly static.

None of this really gets in the way of enjoying the core songs and book, however. I'd recommend it if you're a fan of Rice & Webber.

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