Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Jesus Christ------SUPERSTAR!, posted April 12, 2009 at 09:52 PM

It's Easter, so naturally I've been put in mind of my favorite counterculture retelling of the Passion Play: Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. When my sister and I were little we would divide up the parts and sing the opera from start to finish. (With my voice not yet changed I always played Mary Magdalene). Stephanie's on her way home from visiting me for Easter right now, and I just finished listening to the original recording of JCS. And I've been thinking--if I could stage it today (or just produce a new definitive recording), who would I cast? With some great suggestions from Stephanie, I humbly submit my dream cast:


Jesus Christ -- Courtney Love
Rock and Roll, Baby! She can belt out the rockers, break the slow jams over her shredded vocal cords, and be as egomaniacal as Judas sees her character to be. She wants to be the Christ with the most cake.

Judas -- Morrissey
He's so disappointed that he hangs himself from a tree.

Mary Magdalene -- Beyoncé Knowles
Forget Yvonne Elliman--we need a woman who can seriously coooooooooo.

Pontius Pilate -- Rufus Wainwright
As Stephanie put it: He's a total drama queen!

Caiaphas, High Priest -- Nick Cave
The deep-voiced concern, the booming declarations. No one else could play the part.

Annas -- David Byrne
High-voiced and witty, and a role not demanding the greatest voice ever.

Simon Zealotes -- Mos Def
Cutie-pie Mos himself can bring the positive vibe with the political edge that's needed!

Peter -- George Michael
Deny, deny, deny, George.

King Herod -- Tom Waits
I'm thinking a slower, bluesier version of King Herod's song, rather than the jaunty ragtime of the original....

Now the last question is who's gonna play the Roman guard who in the original recording sums up the absurdity of this entire project by referring to Jesus as: "Someone Christ, King of the Juice!"????? (Answer: Sandra Bernhard!)

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