*a 1970 rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.
“…Initially unable to get backing for a stage production, the composers released it as a rock opera album musical. The success of the album led to the show’s Broadway on-stage debut in 1971. The musical is sung-through, with no spoken dialogue. The story is loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’s life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. It depicts political and interpersonal struggles between Judas Iscariot and Jesus that are not present in the Bible.
The work interprets the psychology of Jesus and other characters. Much of the plot centres on Judas, who is dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus is steering his disciples. Contemporary attitudes, sensibilities and slang pervade the rock opera’s lyrics, and ironic allusions to modern life are scattered throughout the depiction of political events. Stage and film productions accordingly contain many intentional anachronisms.
By 1980, the musical had grossed more than $237 million worldwide.
A film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar was released in 1973. The film, directed by Norman Jewison, was shot in Israel and other Middle Eastern locations. Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson and Yvonne Elliman were each nominated for a Golden Globe Award for their portrayals of Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, respectively. Bob Bingham (Caiaphas) and Barry Dennen (Pilate) also reprised their roles. A new song, called “Then We Are Decided” and phrased as a dialogue between Caiaphas and Annas, was written for this adaptation.
A second adaptation was filmed in 1999, and released around the world on video in 2000 and 2001. It starred Glenn Carter as Jesus, Jérôme Pradon as Judas, Reneé Castle as Mary Magdalene, and Rik Mayall as Herod, and was directed by Gale Edwards and Nick Morris. It was released on video in the UK in October 2000. In the U.S. it was released on VHS and DVD in March 2001, and aired on PBS’s Great Performances series in April 2001. It won the International Emmy Award for Best Performing Arts Film in November 2001. The style of the film is more like the stage version than the location-based 1973 adaptation, and it used many of the ideas from the 1996–1999 UK production.
The 2012 UK arena tour pro-shot was released on the 19th November 2012. It starred Ben Forster, Tim Minchin, Melanie C.”