Jesus Christ Superstar

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Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-)[1] and Tim Rice (1944-)[2]..

The original text

Loosely based on Biblical accounts of the Passion, it is a somewhat modernised and rather contentious psychological interpretation for the actions of the characters, to a large extent focused on the dissatisfaction of Judas with the direction Jesus was leading them.

Initially released it as a concept album in 1970, since the composers were unable to get backing for a stage production. The album's success then led to the show's debut on Broadway in 1971, with the premiere taking place at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on 12 October 1971, and its international acclaim.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

After it had opened on Broadway in 1971, the musical was originally considered blasphemous by many and was initially banned in South Africa, only being performed there in 1991.

1991: Presented by NAPAC at the Durban Playhouse. This production won a National Vita Award as Musical Theatre Production of the Year in 1992.

1993: Presented by CAPAB Musicals, first performed on the Nico stage on 25 October, directed by David Matheson with musical direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, choreography by Alfred Hinkel, design by Keith Anderson, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. The cast Glenn Swart, Steve Walsh, Tina Schouw, Chris Brand, Anton Stoltz, John van der Ross, David Nissen, Marius van Lonkhuyzen, Ricky Rudolph, Paul Griffiths, Heather Mac and the Company.

1996: A revival production by CAPAB Opera returned to the Nico Opera House from 22 June to 20 July 1996 with the following cast: Glenn Swart, Paul Warwick-Griffin, Neisha-Anne Harley, Chris Brand, Graham Clarke, John van der Ross, Albert le Roux, Darryl Nel, Duncan Royce, Paul Griffiths, Colin Leo, Faried Swartz and the Company.

1997: Produced by the State Theatre, with Paul Warwick Griffin in the lead, Joseph Clark as Judas.

2006: A Pieter Toerien production was directed by Paul Warwick Griffin, starring Cito Otto as Jesus, Robert Finlayson as Judas, Candida Mosoma as Mary Magdalen and other important roles played by Anton Luitingh (Pontius Pilate), Rowan Cloete (Herod), Timothy Bull (Annanias), Graham Bourne (Kaiafas), Jaco van Rensburg (Simon), Izak Davel (Peter) and Earl Gregory (Andreas). Keith Anderson designed the costumes and decor, choreography by Timothy le Roux.

2011: A Pieter Toerien production, presented at Artscape (in May) and Montecasino's Teatro (in June) featuring Wonderboom front man Cito Otto in the role of Jesus, playing opposite Jonathan Roxmouth as Judas, with Terence Bridgett (Herod), Nadine (Mary), Anton Luitingh (Pilate) and Jaco van Rensburg, Kyle Mathews, Sibu Radebe, Grant Almiral, Kenneth Meyer, Rhys Hewitt Williams, Marc Goldberg, Jared Jordaan, David Schlacter, Stephen Jubber, Reg Hart, Niall Griffin, Graham Bourne, Bronwyn Reddy, Marlee van der Merwe, Megan C, Michele La Trobe, Darryl Evans, Tandi Meikle, Ignatius van Heerden, and Duane Alexander who doubles as the Resident Choreographer on the show. Lighting design by Denis Hutchinson.


The Argus, 26 October 1993.

Review by Thy Odendaal, Beeld, 27 March 2006.

Programme, CAPAB 1996

'Jesus Christ Superstar rehearsal begin', media update, 20 April 2011

'Musical time at the Teatro', Newsroom, 3 February 2011

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