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Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Posted By: robi62
Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)
Video: PAL, MPEG-2 at 5 896 Kbps, 720 x 576 (1.778) at 25.000 fps | Audio: AC-3 2ch. at 192 Kbps, AC-3 6ch. at 448 Kbps, 48.0 KHz
Genre: Rock | Label: Universal | Copy: Untouched | Release Date: 19 Nov 2012 | Runtime: 104 min. | 7,32 GB (DVD9)

Celebrating 40 years since it first opened in London's West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Laurence Connor, promises to be the rock event of 2012.
The star-studded line-up includes award-winning musical comedian Tim Minchin for the role of 'Judas Iscariot'. Three million album selling pop icon and former Spice Girl Melanie C will take the only female lead as 'Mary Magdalene'. BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles will make his major stage debut as 'King Herod' and Winner of the ITV primetime show 'Superstar' Ben Forster in the title role of 'Jesus' in the 21st century 'Rock Musical' re-invention of Jesus Christ Superstar.
An award-winning creative team have transformed this legendary rock musical into a unique state-of-the-art spectacular. Director Laurence Connor, known for his work on the 25th anniversary performances and concerts for Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, will work alongside Mark Fisher, the acclaimed world-leading set designer responsible for the staging of the Diamond Jubilee music concert in front of Buckingham Palace. They will be joined by internationally renowned lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe, who worked on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Both Mark and Patrick have worked on global arena and stadium tours for some of the world's biggest music acts including the Rolling Stones and U2.
Loosely adapted from the four canonical gospels of the New Testament and detailing the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s groundbreaking, and highly controversial rock opera was first presented as a best-selling 1970 concept album, before an authorised 1971 American concert version and a subsequent Broadway run.
Now restored to its energetic rock origins, and radically reinvented in this new high-tech and ultra-modern production, the show has been revived for this 40th anniversary arena tour, drawing back to Webber’s original intention to present the show as an grand-scale, arena rock opera.
I must admit that, being such a huge fan of the original recording, and the traditionally staged 1996 Lyceum production, featuring the astonishing Steve Balsamo in the eponymous role, this highly contemporary interpretation or ‘vision’ is not really to my taste. However, for viewers new to the work, it proves a very accessible and relatable new production, and as a means to attract a new audience to both the show and musical theatre in general, helped by celebrity ‘stunt’ casting and a reality television search, then i’m sure the production goes a long way to achieving this goal.
Firmly grounded in the 21st century, Laurence Connor’s new production plays out against a backdrop of the London riots, anarchy and the Occupy Wall Street movement, emphasising the political, religious and authoritarian themes of the piece, but where the stronger productions highlight the subtlety, emotion and drama of the piece, and the outstanding musical variation of the score, this production unfortunately sacrifices these factors for shameless crowd-pleasing gimmicks, highly unsubtle volume and big budget special effects, clearly utilised to draw the attention from some wholly unsatisfactory vocal performances.
The leading duo of Jesus and Judas are arguably the most difficult and most vocally challenging roles in the entire musical canon, and where Tim Minchin proves a revelation as Judas, seemingly meeting the sky high top notes with veritable ease and raw power, ITV talent show winner Ben Foster just simply is not strong enough for the eponymous role, and aside from some gentler, stronger moments, struggles to reach the top notes throughout the performance, displaying little sign emotion and delivering a performance that simply is not of a high enough quality for this level. Former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm once again proves that, aside from the odd one or two strong performances, celebrity casting just does not work, maybe financially, but certainly not in terms of artistic value and vocal quality, turning two of the shows subtler and beautifully lyrical numbers into angsty, shouted soliloquies, not helped by the fact the character of Mary Magdelene is here transformed into a rebellious hippy. However, for both Foster and Chisholm, there are gentler moments that do come across as elegant and very pleasing, but then the status quo is unfortunately disturbed courtesy of proceeding, off-key shouting during sections that are written to be delivered softer. Now i’m not sure if this is down to the musical director or the decision of the individual cast members, but, speaking as someone who knows the score backwards, it seems a very puzzling decision to drop some higher more powerful notes to a gentler, softer level and then have lyrics that should be delivered lyrically and subtly, shouted and ‘riffed’, in complete contrast to the contextual meaning of the lyrics. The disappointing moments are all topped off with a shameless and shambling performance from former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles as the show-stealing King Herod, delivering one of the most ‘iconic’ songs of the show in the form of a television game show.
Thankfully, aside from the principal celebrity quartet, overall, the supporting cast proves far stronger, with outstanding performances from the ever reliable and highly experienced Alexander Hanson as Pontius Pilate; Giovanni Spano, delivering outstanding vocal fireworks as Simon Zealotes; Pete Gallagher, as a suitably evil Caiaphas; Gerard Bentall, making easy work of the astonishingly high vocal line of the malicious sidekick Annas; Michael Pickering, delivering excellent vocals and adding a layer of depth to Peter, and completing the show, a young, energetic and genuinely excellent ensemble.
The live, on-stage rock band and orchestra are truly outstanding, adding a level of great quality and energy to the piece and delivering an astonishing and powerhouse rendering of the tremendous score.
Laurence Connor’s direction leaves a great deal to be desired, and for me, incorporating modern technological gimmicks such as iPad’s, Twitter, television screens, photography, night clubs, flash mobs and a mechanical lighting rig for the the climactic crucifixion scene do not work and only diminish any significance and historical value of the piece.

Cast:
- Ben Forster as Jesus Christ
- Tim Minchin as Judas Escariot
- Chris Moyles as King Herod
- Melanie C as Mary Magdalene
- Alex Hanson as Pontus Pilate


Tracklist:
Act 1
01. Overture
02. Heaven On Their Minds
03. What's The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying
04. Everything's Alright
05. This Jesus Must Die
06. Hosanna
07. Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem
08. Pilate's Dream
09. The Temple
10. Everything's Alright (Reprise)
11. I Don't Know How To Love Him
12. Damned For All Time/Blood Money
Act 2
01. The Last Supper
02. Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)
03. The Arrest
04. Peter's Denial
05. Pilate And Christ
06. King Herod's Song (Try It And See)
07. Judas' Death
08. Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes)
09. Superstar
10. Crucifixion
11. John Nineteen Forty-One


Features:
- Direct Scene Access
- Interactive Menu

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 (2012)

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