Great Performances (1971– )
110 user 6 critic

Jesus Christ Superstar 

Unrated | | Music | Episode aired 11 April 2001
A rock musical version of the Passion Play seen from the point of view of Judas.


Tim Rice (book)

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Carter Glenn Carter ... Jesus of Nazareth
Jérôme Pradon Jérôme Pradon ... Judas Iscariot (as Jerome Pradon)
Renée Castle ... Mary Magdalene
Fred Johanson Fred Johanson ... Pontius Pilate
Rik Mayall ... King Herod
Frederick B. Owens Frederick B. Owens ... Caiaphas
Michael Shaeffer ... Annas
Tony Vincent ... Simon Zealotes
Cavin Cornwall ... Peter
Pete Gallagher Pete Gallagher ... First Priest (as Peter Gallagher)
Michael McCarthy Michael McCarthy ... Second Priest
Philip Cox Philip Cox ... Third Priest
Matt Cross Matt Cross ... Apostle / Ensemble (as Matthew Cross)
Kevin Curtin ... Apostle / Ensemble
Paul Vickers Paul Vickers ... Apostle / Ensemble


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

The Really Useful Group





Release Date:

11 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

KQED,Really Useful Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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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 »


Pontious Pilate: Where are you from, Jesus? What do you want, Jesus? Tell me. You've got to be careful. You could be dead soon, could well be. Why do you not speak when I hold your life in my hands? How can you stay quiet? I don't believe you'd understand.
Jesus: You have nothing in your hands. Any power you have... comes to you from far beyond. Everything is fixed and you can't change it.
Pontious Pilate: You're a fool, Jesus Christ! How can I help you?
See more »


Version of Jesus Christ Superstar (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Generally okay production
12 April 2001 | by GislefSee 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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