Archive for Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar: Belated Reviewing

Posted in Review, Theatre with tags , , on August 29, 2010 by darthtanion

Hi folks,
OK I’m going to write this really quickly because chances are that by the time you read it the show has already closed so who really cares what I say anyway.  On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to score myself tickets to Harvest Rain’s JC Superman.  Having done that I decided I would use them & then tell you all what I thought about it.  As I write this I’m very aware of the fact that the show closes tonight so it kind of feels like I’m writing Jesus Christ Superstar: The Why Bother but in keeping with convention I would now like to present to you…

Jesus Christ Superstar: The Review

JC Supersonic

Executive Summary: I loved it.  Not as good as their amazing production of Songs For A New World but still pretty damn sharp. *wink*

Review: OK so just to get this out of the way, first I’m going to start this review the same way I start all of my reviews about Harvest Rain’s productions.  I know these guys.  They are friends of mine.  If I didn’t like the show I would not be objective about it.  I would still tell you I loved it & just go to hell for lying before I ever gave them a bad review.  Better yet, I just wouldn’t write a review!  In short, you can’t trust my opinion but it’s so late in the season it’s not like you really would have anyway.

Let’s start out with the things I didn’t like about this show.  There was only really one thing I didn’t like but in some people’s opinions it is a fairly big thing.  I didn’t like the musical… at all…  I just don’t like JC Super Ted.  I think it is massively overrated & as a story, stinks.  I know that sounds horribly blasphemous of me but let’s look at it critically.  I’m not trying to say the actual bible story of Jesus is poor.  It’s lasted 2000 years so far & people are still writing songs & making movies about it so it has to have at least a few engaging elements.  I’m saying the story put forward in JC Supermarket is average.  I’m saying if you didn’t know about the story of Jesus then it would make no sense at all.  I’m saying if the bible had never existed & this was just a musical story written by some guy rather than a musical story ripped off by some guy it would be completely pointless but most of all, I’m saying Tim O’Conner is the musical theatre equivalent of  Sir David Attenborough.  He can make the most pointless, boring, cow pat of a subject absolutely enthralling & that’s what he’s done here.  The simple fact of the matter is that everybody does, at least loosely, know the story of Jesus so trying to make this plot stand on it’s own two feet is not a challenge you have to overcome.  It’s overcome for you.  The real challenge is making the music entertaining & this has been done by way of the amazingly talented Maitlohn Drew.  The arrangements & presentation of the songs in this production are fresh & imaginative.  The obvious standout was Mary’s solo I Don’t Know How To Love Him.  A song that has been done to death by everyone under the sun was given a completely new lease on life thanks, in no small part, to Naomi Truloff, who’s characterisations are always amazing to watch.

The lighting, sound, epic set (I mean seriously epic) & ensemble cast were fantastic.  I remember thinking how meticulously the show had been choreographed however, speaking with Tim after the show he said it wasn’t choreography but the cast had just really owned their roles & taken it upon themselves to put 110% into every scene & it really makes a difference.  Nobody appeared to be slacking or tiring.  No matter how hard I looked (because I was trying to find something to fault these guys on) everybody was completely devoted to the character they were playing.  It was brilliant!  The show started out with the breath-taking vocals of Tod Strike who had, by far, the hardest role in the show; Judas.  Yes, Jesus is a very challenging role too but Judas starts up & stays up & when he is backed by the awesome ensemble cast it made for some magical theatre.

Well, that’s it… that’s my whole review… what?  Oh fine.  I guess I have to say something about the guy that played Jesus but I’m not happy about it.  Having performed with Luke Kennedy I’ve seen how much good press this guy gets & the thing that really gets up my nose is that he deserves it!  In every way!  I hate to add fuel to the fire but he can sing, he can act & he is a nice guy.  In short, I hate his talented, friendly, better-looking-than-me guts.  Hey Kennedy!  If you’re reading this I’ve got an idea for you.  I want you to go out, rent a copy of Who Framed Roger Rabbit & take it to a public toilet.  I don’t mind which one but the dirtier the better.  Start it playing (you make need to do this on a laptop or something.  You’re a smart cookie, you’ll figure it out.)  & when it gets up to the part where Christopher Lloyd starts laughing with those “burnin’ red eyes & that high squeaky voice” just dunk you’re head in a bowl, flail your arms around & pretend it’s me howling in the background with delight.  Rinse & repeat.  Seriously though, I’m just jealous.  Luke Kennedy is flawless in his portrayal of Jesus.  I know praise of this guy is so common these days it almost feels like a band wagon I have to jump on but there is a reason for that.  He’s fantastic.  His rendition of Gethsemane is the greatest I have ever heard.  I don’t mean the greatest I have heard live or in Brisbane, I mean ever, anywhere, in any medium & I’ve even heard LUKE KENNEDY sing it before!  The final knife in my side was at the end of the evening when my partner looked towards Luke’s lovely wife & say “Aww… she gets to go home with Luke KENNEDY.”  I’m not even kidding.  He was that good.

Anyway, it’s now 3PM & the final show goes on stage at 6:30PM so if you haven’t already got tickets then you had better hurry.  The season all but sold out anyway & so it should have.  This show is everything Brisbane theatre needs & deserves the great success it has enjoyed.  I just have one final thing to complain about.  The lady sitting in front of me.

Dear Madam,
Did you enjoy the show?  Me too.  Did you know they now have an invention called a hair straighteners?  You should use one or some bobby pins or a large bucket of water or anything that would keep your massive, Fran Fine-esq hair do from blocking the view of half of the theatre.  I thought I’d gotten turned around when heading to the show & ended up in a Flock Of Seagulls reunion.  Seriously, you made Effie look like Angry Anderson.  Any time someone moved to the middle of the stage it looked like they were walking on a cloud of your hair.  At what point of the night’s preparations did you turn to the mirror & say “I know what look I’ll go for.  Recently electrocuted!”?  Next time you’re coming to the theatre please give me a call & we’ll organise to go together.  That way you can sit next to or behind me.
Luke J. Venables ESQ.

Did you see the show?  If so I’d love to hear your impressions.  If not… suffer in your jocks.

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Future King of Your Backyard