Since winning the tickets to watch Harvest Rain
's production of Jesus Christ Superstar, I've been buzzing with anticipation for preview night to rock up. Everyone at work knew I was going to watch it and the SO has sighed many a time at my random bursts of Hosanna's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' phrase. Obviously my enthusiasm wasn't contagious enough, but not for looooooong.
We haven't been to a musical, much less the QPAC before. Rocking up early, I collected our tickets and was thrilled to see such a large turnout for a preview night. It was a good mix of youth and old, groups and couples, so it does appeal to a wide audience. This is, afterall, a timeless story of Jesus's last 7 days as a man - a story that is often forgotten in the Christian message. Don't expect a lot of bible waving here though. This is a rock opera!
Luke Kennedy as Jesus, Tod Strike as Judas and Naomi Price as Mary Magdalene
There's been plenty said of the 3 title characters: Jesus, Judas and Mary. But if you're going to watch the musical, keep an eye out for Pilate (Lionel Theunissen) and Caiaphas (Lawrie Esmond). They're both very true to the characters and their voices stir the soul, particularly in Pilate's Dream.
And for the briefest of time, Herod (Steven Tandy) and his troupe of cabaret dancing ladies provide a touch of comic relief in 'Try it and See', particularly the adorable blonde with twin ponytails and the pink getup. She was so cute and is the one to watch through that sequence - though Herod in boxer shorts is difficult to ignore.
The performance was brilliant and visually closer in style to the 2000 film production than the original 1973 movie, which is fantastic for the modern audience.
Isn't the stage gorgeous? I loved the world-worn gothic church setting and the lighting was brilliant - simulating the warming morning sun to foreboding lighting.
Unfortunately this was all marred by the sound glitches throughout the play. Judas's opening could hardly be heard over the live band, Caiaphas and Jesus's mics weren't switched back on during 'Trial Before Pilate', and at one point, half the live band's sound went missing. It still irks me 2 days later.
Nonetheless, it is a brilliantly done production and runs till 29 August. If you're a fan of rockstar Jesus (or as I call him 'hippy Jesus'), this show has tonnes of talent to applaud. I warn you though: we've had Hosanna stuck in our heads since and it doesn't look like it'll be leaving anytime soon.
Thanks for the tickets, Harvest Rain