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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The emotional return of a legend!
In the seventies JCS re-defined how musical theatre was produced.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber brought theatre to rock music and rock music to theatre and people loved it.
This new interpretation has taken all that was best in the original production and given it an extra kick up the backside!
This is a kind of "West side story" meets the...
Published on 17 Sept. 2002 by Craig Dawson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Below Average
This production is mediocre. Jerome Pradon may be a fine actor, but Judas requires a singer of enormous range and ability. This Judas makes me want to hang myself, long before he ever does it himself. Jesus is average. He is not bad, he also isn't very good. He took over the part after playing Simon in the London stage production. He was better as Simon (for that matter...
Published 20 months ago by Tom


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The emotional return of a legend!, 17 Sept. 2002
By 
Craig Dawson (Kilmarnock, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
In the seventies JCS re-defined how musical theatre was produced.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber brought theatre to rock music and rock music to theatre and people loved it.
This new interpretation has taken all that was best in the original production and given it an extra kick up the backside!
This is a kind of "West side story" meets the gospells.
Jesus and his disciples are seen as renegades and revelutionaries by the nazi-like Romans in Jerusalem.
jesus..is given a human touch...showing him as a complex and emtionally conflicted character. The same can be said for Judas whose devotion is conflicted by his feelings that something is wrong with the way Jesus is going about his work.
Gail Edwards pulls no punches in her emotional telling of the story (I defy anyone not to wince at the torture scene) thus giving the whole thing a harder, more real edge, that draws the viewer in.
Of all the performers only Rick Mayall dissapoints. He plays Herod as if he was a character from "The Young Ones". There is no emotion there at all.
Glenn cater shines as Jesus, again putting a human face on the character. When watching with a friend, I turned to see her crying during "Gethsemene".
Judas is as sinister as they come (Jerome Praden...stand up)but you still feel sorry for him.
Over all, this is a remarkable, but emotionally shattering version of the stage classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it or regret it, 22 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I brought this Dvd of Jesus christ superstar, with Glenn Carter. After watching the brillant production of Jesus christ superstar at the Opera House in Manchester. I had to watch it twice, i just love this musical. I now love the Dvd.
Glenn Carter stands out for me. His performance is fantastic, full off live, and expression. His singing is wonderful. I can't stop playing Getheseme. That song has always been my favourite.
This is a must for fans of Jesus Christ superstar. I can't wait to get the film with Ted Neeley on Dvd. I just have to mention my favourite Jesus's are Ted Neeley, Glenn Carter and Arvid Larsen who just finished playing Jesus christ superstar for 2001 tour.
This musical never gets old, with songs like Heven on their minds, Jesus Christ Superstar, Gethemane. People just don't write like that anymore. I have to go watch the Dvd again now.
Buy it, sit back, and see if you can stop yourself from singing along to the songs. I couldn't
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time..., 3 Mar. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Almost thirty years ago...I`ve seen the play in London and I was quite amazed with what I saw in stage, I even brought with me the binoculars from the seats as a souvenir...
As a regular customer of Amazon, I have read all the comments regarding this particular production and have recently bought this DVD. I can only confirm what others keep saying...THIS IS BRILLIANT...to say the least.
The only point which I strongly disagree with most of the reviews posted, regards the Judas voice, I can agree that the performance, as an actor,is quite good and believable, but as a singer, please, for crying out loud, the guy has NO voice at all!!! Personally, I prefer the voice of Carl Anderson from the original motion picture.
On the other end, I was stunned with Pilate`s voice (yes, this is a voice)and performance.
My recomendation on this DVD can be only one...BUY IT!!!! whatever the cost may be-)))
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This was the first professional production of Jesus Christ Superstar I came across, after having the pleasure of being involved in an amateur production at our school backstage. This production is a recording based on the production staged by Gale Edwards, which I also viewed live at Bristol last year. It is a revolutionary look at the musical - a completely different visual style to the 1973 video production... and boy does it work.
Instead of the swords and sands of the '73 version it is set mostly inside in some strange reality in which technology of the present can be seen ("Put away your sword," Jesus says to someone holding a machine gun,) but in the architectural style of revolutionaries in underground catacombes... (the opening overture rises above 'Liberty' and 'Democracy' graffiti.. as well as grafitti of a quote by George Orwell, interestingly enough) Visually, it works terrifically - particularly in the Overture, Superstar and Pilate & Christ. Again, visually it is very symbollic - about half way through the crowd - wearing their tie-die tee-shirts - change into a mob wearing complete black, appearing menacing... for this reason, the visualisations are also very symbollic. The lighting and costumes also add a lot this effect (a particular memory is Pontious Pilate in his huge military leather cloak...)
And now to the cast: Glenn Carter, I believe, provided quite a good Jesus in both the acting and the singing - far better than the 1973 version's Ted Neeley, although not, in my opinion, as strong as 1996's Steven Balsalmo, who's interpretation of Gethsemane is incredible. However, I've read many negative comments of his role in this film, and I don't believe that they are all entirely justified (in my opinion.) Judas was portrayed well, although vocally I don't believe he was as strong as in other interpretations. I do feel that he was very varied and portrayed the emotions and dilemas of Judas very effectively. I found the interpretation of Mary Magdalen reasonably good; the best Mary vocally I've encountered came from an amateur production, however. Pontious Pilate was outstanding - a completely different vocal style to the original Pilate who was quiter (I mean metaphorically, not in volume) - providing some very powerful performances. I did find that, however, the interpretation of Pilate's Dream was the weakest aspect of This Production - in my opinion it was far too emotional. This Pilate's interpretation of Pilate & Christ I believe to be truly exceptional. The preists I also believe to have been very effective, particularly Annas; and Rik Mayall provided an amusing rendition of Herod, though not my favourite vocally (although his predecessors in this role include Meatloaf and Alice Cooper, so what's to be expected?) The Simon was also very good, sounding very enthusiastic and, to quote from the score, "quasi soul." Peter was also reasonable.
In addition, this production also has very many 'clever touches,' examples including Judas showing Jesus the bible during the quote "Did you know your messy death would Be a record breaker?" during the abstract Superstar.
One thing I haven't commented on here is the Musical Itself - it goes without saying that its an exceptional creation; and you can probably guess that I've encountered it before. The lyrics are incredibly witty and the music very profound and great to listen to independantly of watching any production: although, in my opinion, the best production to listen to vocally is the 1996 version. However, visually, this production is stunning, and all-round it definately comes out on top.
Superb.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JCS DVD Review, 11 Sept. 2004
By 
LM (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I bought this DVD from Amazon after seeing the wonderful revamped (2004) production of JCS at Birmingham Hippodrome recently, because the experience was one I couldn't wait to recreate in my living room.
It's interesting to compare this filmed version - which dates back to 2000 - to the new show. It takes a quite different approach, and I find it hard to say which I prefer. I guess I'll just sit on the fence and say I love both - they're wonderful for different reasons.
The film has a very modern, edgy, West Side Story-ish feel - with minimalist sets, video screens, graffiti, clubby costumes and Christ fans bearing banners that proclaim slogans like 'JESUS RULES.' It's interesting to see how the new theatre production has returned to its 'Biblical' roots, with more traditional costumes and sets.
It's also worth comparing the DVD with the original 1973 Jesus Christ Superstar film. While the feel of that was more epic and grandiose - being shot on stunning location in Israel - this version conversely works well in its studio setting. The ambience is more claustrophobic and menacing.
Glenn Carter once again stars as Jesus and looks luscious. He has an amazing vocal range and acts with charismatic passion.
The great Rik Mayall gives a gloriously taunting performance in what must be the most fun cameo role in musical theatre - Herod. He plays the sneering king just as he played Richie Rich doing one of his showbiz pastiches in the criminally underrated 80s sitcom Filthy Rich & Catflap.
I have to say I find it difficult, after seeing the new show, to imagine anyone but Fame Academy's James Fox playing Judas - he has already made the role so much his own - though Jerome Pradon is excellent here as the tormented traitor. Renee Castle makes a sensual, fiery Mary Magdalene, and Tony Vincent -who has since come to greater prominence in the Queen musical We Will Rock You - makes a pre-Galileo appearance as a blond-highlighted Simon.
The DVD features a bonus behind-the-scenes documentary with enlightening interviews with the main stars, crew and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and trailers for JCS itself, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat(starring Donny Osmond and Joan Collins) and Cats.
As I said, this isn't exactly a new release, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wins new audiences on the back of the recent 'Superstar' tour. Die-hard fans will already have it, but for slow-on-the-uptake converts like me, it's well worth the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual and sound spectacular, 20 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Anyone who already loves this classic rock opera centred around the last 7 days in the life of Jesus Christ is in for a rare treat. Get it home, turn up your surround sound system to window shattering volume, sit back and enjoy.
Everybody is aware of the basic story as told in the bible but in addition to this, the musical concentrates on Jesuss' relationship and betrayal by Judas Iscariet, the threat he and his followers pose to the prevailing Scribes and Pharasies and of course his consequent arrest, torture and crucifiction by the Roman invaders led by Pontias Pilate. The musical numbers sound as timeless, fresh and powerful as ever from the lung shattering power of the opening number " Heaven on their minds " to the eyefilling finalé " Jesus Christ Superstar ".
Unlike the 1973 movie filmed on location in the middle east, this version is essentially a recording of the current stage version currently playing on broadway and touring around major cities filmed at Pinewood studios, England.
The cast includes Glen Carter as Jesus ( currently to be seen as Jesus on Broadway ) and Frederick B Owens ( Ciaphas ) also to be seen in the current Broadway production and owner of tbe deepest voice in the world !!! Rik Mayall makes a cameo as King Herod in the big fantasy production number and whilst visually perfect, singing, alas, is the one talent which has totally eluded him.
However, all in all, from this fan anyway, 10/10, a true piece of timeless art.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring this version to the West End Soon !!!!!!!!!!!, 7 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Being someone who had always tried to avoid any kind of bell-bottom wearing rock opera, I decided to give this DVD a go. In three days of solid watching, this DVD has become top of my list. The performance is simply fantastic.
The show has been brought into a gritty 1990's realism, superbly captured by Gale Edwards. Highlights of the show must include Fred Johanson as Pilate and the excellent Jerome Pradon, portraying the doomed Judas Iscariot. Rik Mayall's Noel Coward-esque performance of Herod is an average one, although I do wish he could have cleared his throat before starting to sing.
One final word - does anyone know where can I get a soundtrack to this particular version, I cannot find one anywhere...thanks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best buy of the year!!, 3 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
i was so excited about wacthing this d.v.d like a little girl whos just been given some sweets. And i was not dissapointed. it was so diffrent from what i expected, as i have only seen it once on stage quite a few years ago & then the cast apart from Jesus was dressed in jeans & shirts. this one was leather & guns. but dont be put off, the intro is quite stange & your not sure at first, but not for long , becasue as soon as Jerome starts singing bang your`e there. All the cast are fantastic I have not got one bad word to say about any of them. Jerome for me was Judas he acted & sang the part with such emotion & energy that you felt quite worn out wacthing him. As for glenn carter well he was just amazing as christ, his performance made my hair stand up at the back of my neck & send tingles down my spine.The best Jesus i have ever seen . Even more so when he sang Gethsamane which brought tears to my eyes. & I`ve seen it now about fitfy times & it still sends tingles down my spine when he sings that song. brilltant fantastic, there are so many words to discribe his performance & everyone with praise, we love ya Glenn.xxx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best version ever!, 27 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
After having seen the lacklustre revival show at the Lyceum Theatre in London (1998), and watching the Norman Jewison film more times than I can count, Gale Edwards's revamped touring production descended on my home town for two weeks, and hence revived my once dormant passion for the best Rock Opera ever written. Now we have a souvenier of that excellent, wildly interpretive piece of musical theatre. This video, whilst in parts quite 'twee' and often sanitised (for family viewing, one presumes), captures, I feel, the unique aura and spirituality of Jesus Christ Superstar. The passion of the players, the earthy vitality of Lloyd-Webber's searing score and the timelessness of the piece are all evident here. What's nice is that, by being closer to the actors, the excellent direction and the grittiness of the book's subtext shine through even more than on stage; allowing us to follow these poor characters as they hurtle towards self-destruction, and more importantly, allowing us to see what a beautifully crafted piece of drama lyricist Tim Rice (perhaps unintentionally)has given us. The staging is clever; having littered the set with grafitti slogans such as 'Combat Control' and 'Hate' really brings out the political undertones and gives this musical a kind-of social context. Jerome Pradon and Glenn Carter shine and soar as the duelling martyrs Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ, yet it is the towering presence of Fred Johanson as Pontius Pilate, neatly conveying a vunerabilty behind the raw ferocity of his empire's politics, that steals the show. King Herod's party piece, is intended as a nice spot of light relief, although the part is wasted here by a seemingly out-of-his-league Rik Mayall. The scene doesn't work on video. That being my only quibble, the other actors all earn their monies and Jesus Christ Superstar on video is (in my opinion) the best representation yet of a musical and cultural phenomenon.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, 27 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Eighteen months ago, I was gifted with the oportunity to be in our school's production of Jesus Christ Superstar. After falling into the musical, I could not find anything better. My origional stereotype of it being a religious opera thing was totally overwritten. This is a wonderful rock opera, and, in my opinion, this is the best interpretation of it I've seen.
I bought this video earlier this year, and also watched a live performance by the same director in a smiliar style. The way the artistic director creates this is amazing, revolutionary and the best yet. The great catacombes with slogans on the walls, the great clothes (a particular memory is that of Pontious Pilate's first appearance in full costume in Pilate and Christ with his long leather cloak and military hat,) brilliant light affects (such as the ones in Damned for All Time as the preists dramatically appear to goad Judas into betraying Judas) and the way Superstar is done with Judas' red jacket, the media cameras and angels descending singing the chorus is just so revolutionary. Acting wise, there are some wonderful touches and facial expressions such as how in Superstar Judas brings out a copy of the Bible to the lyrics, "Did you know your messy death would be a record breaker?" Add the locational side of this, this is brilliant. Singing/Instrumental wise, this is also the best ever - I am presently listening to the riveting Rock Lead Guitar solo at the begining of Damned for All Time played when Judas is considering turning Jesus in. The Last Supper and Gethsemane were done brilliantly really bringing a chill to your spine.
To conclude, this is by far the best interpretation of the legendary rock opera I've ever experienced (and I've experienced a fair few - five on count including different CD, video and live versions) as every little thing adds to the perfection of this piece. The cast are brilliant - particularly Jesus, Judas, Pilate, Herod and Annas (I love that Sanhedrin Shuffle - Cut the protesting...) A truly spectacular performance.
My mind is clearer now...
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Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD] [2000]
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