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4.6 out of 5 stars
Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 [Blu-ray]
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2012
I've always loved this musical primarily because of its rock roots and the fact that not one song within could be considered a filler. So, I was exceptionally cynical when the usual "Let's Find A Third Rate No Talent X Factor" format was applied to find a lead for the arena tour. Similarly, on discovering that stage luminaries such as Chris Moyles and Mel C would also be part of the show I didn't buy tickets. However, my wife and friends did and I was subjected to weeks of chiding as I had missed "the best performance she had ever seen of JCS". With this constant chirruping in my ears I had no choice but to buy her it on Blue Ray DVD as soon as it was released.

Having just watched it I will now live to regret that I didn't buy a ticket as the full show is stunning. The stage set is simple but varied, the musicianship from the band is excellent and the cast are all fantastic. Tim Minchin in particualr steals the show for me as his acting and vocal performances are jaw dropping. Where has he been hiding for the last couple of years? Even my initial cynicsm over the appointment of Ben Forster as JC has been washed away as he is outstanding as demonstrated by his strong performance of Gethsemane-stunning to watch and very emotive. Mel C also acquits herself well as do the secondary cast members playing Herod, Pilate and the Apostles. The disc also has behind the scenes extras that are quite interesting and give an insight into the whole set up, lighting, design etc.

Grudgingly, I can't recommend it enough and will bite my tongue next time a "Let's Find A Third Rate No Talent X Factor" show is on as the result for this stage show has definitely been a triumph.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2012
I should disclose from the start that Jesus Christ Superstar has always been my favourite musical. I have seen many productions over the years and usually find something to love about each. This particular production, though, had a beauty and an impact for me that was quite exceptional and it will be a joy to be able to watch it again on DVD.

I saw the show in Glasgow on its tour around the UK rather than at the O2 and there were none of the sound / mic problems reported from the London shows - perhaps the smaller scale of the regional venues helped to control the sound more effectively or perhaps the technical teething problems had simply been resolved. The modernisation of the setting and design may not appeal to those who like their apostles in robes and sandals but it created an immediacy and a tension all of its own and some of the images created on the stage (and on the screen behind) were quite stunning. The portrayals of the Crucifixion and Judas's death in particular had a savage beauty quite unlike any I had seen in previous productions.

The incorporation of some sensational lighting effects and the newsreel / cinematic links on the screen also helped to create a truly multi-dimensional quality to the production. This, together with a top-whack band and the clever direction gave the show terrific pace and energy.

There has been much press coverage of the casting for this show but I found all of the performances strong, compelling and emotionally authentic. The lead trio of Judas, Mary and Jesus (Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Ben Forster) were particularly impressive and each in turn moved me to tears.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2013
Having watched the Andrew Lloyd Webber search for Jesus show, I really wanted to see this Musical.
Decided to wait for the DVD. Watched it last night and WOW!! Great catchy songs, outstanding cast and Ben Forster is certainly the right choice for the lead. Favourite songs are Whats the Buzz and The Temple.
Finding the DVD in high street shops at prices over £12 I bought it in the January sale on Amazon at a brilliant bargain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 April 2015
If you're a fan of this particular musical, you need to give this arena tour version at least one viewing. The 1973 Jesus Christ Superstar movie version will probably remain my favorite, but I admit I was impressed with this unique production.

The modern-times staging is a nice change of pace, but isn't so radical that it takes you out of the story. A giant, wide staircase serves as the entire set, with video screens behind and musicians in the scaffolding "wings." Fear not, you aren't just staring at one thing as if you were at the arena---the film production cuts between long shots, close ups, and multiple-shot collages.

The music itself will always be the star of this show for me, and they are faithful to the original work (my go-to for the music is B000002OQP Jesus Christ Superstar Cast Recording). I was never that enthusiastic about Ted Neeley in the 1973 movie as Jesus, so Ben Forster in this version was an improvement from my perspective. Great performances from everyone in the cast, really.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2013
Staging very clever, orchestrations excellent, acting and singing certainly up to expectations. Overall a most enjoyable show and exceeded my expectations. In fact so enjoyable that I am going to see the show, on its second tour, at the MEN Arena in March.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2013
I own the original (desert) DVD and have seen the original live show a number of years ago (not this version). This interpretation is excellent, perhaps grittier than previous ones I've seen. Recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed this amazing musical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2013
Andrew Lloyd-Webber's original vision was for a huge arena version of this production and it certainly was spectacular. I loved the up-dated take on the show with the large screen adding so much to it. The texting was so current and yet appropriate to this version. What I find amazing is the fact that in the seventies, when Lloyd-Webber and Rice wrote the rock opera, the staging would not even have been possible. The technology added so much to the story, as if Jesus Christ Superstar was made for it.

Tim Minchin was incredible in the lead role of Judas. What a superbly talented man he is. I already highly rate him as a comedian and musician but his singing and acting talents are amazing.

Melanie C was wonderful as Mary Magdalene. She is so talented, as proved by the accolades she achieved in another of my favourite musicals, Blood Brothers. Another ageless production!

Ben Forster was excellent as Jesus and proved that Lloyd-Webber's method of TV show casting really does work and as he said, this scenario gives him a chance to cast talented people he would not normally have even seen.

Mr Moyles Herod didn't really impress me but I wasn't keen on the original film version either. The part was made for an over-the-top, quirky portrayal and he did fit that bill. I thought it was sad that he received the most applause at the end as he certainly was not the most talented person in the production.

The band was exceptional and the lead guitarist seemed to me to be on a par with the lead guitar players of some of the best rock bands, although I am by no means an expert.

The use of the stage scaffolding to make the cross was a wonderful idea and the stepped staging was innovative. It must have been so tiring for the cast though!

The most poignant part of the DVD for me was when Lord Andrew came on at the end and dedicated the performance to Sarah and wondered if she was in the audience. I thought then that he must still love Sarah Brightman, after all these years. The production moved me to tears but that also made me cry.

If you love this musical you will thoroughly enjoy the 2012 Jesus Christ Superstar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2012
I Brought this after being unable to see the actual show live, as I was out of cash when tickets went on sale for this. I was very interested to see how it would work, as a arena tour show, than a stage show. Oh my, how I was very surprised! I wondered whether putting on a show like Jesus Christ would work in the form of a arena tour. And it Certainly did. The cast were excellent, Ben showing a great portrayal of Jesus in his time before crucifixion. Mel C did a good job of Mary Magdalene, and Chris Moyles, though not great on the singing side, was a great actor in it, using various references from Britain's got Talent, to One Direction. However, for me, the one stand-out star in this is Tim Minchin. A powerful vocal range, I was very impressed with his Portrayal of Judas, and his betrayal which subsequently leads to his death, which is executed very well, bearing in mind they are in a arena.

I would strongly recommend seeing this to anyone, there is a arena tour again in March next year, but if you are unable to grab yourself a ticket for that, grab yourself a ticket for this, as this is truly one fantastic musical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
I've been a huge fan of this rock opera since listening to the original album back in my school days, when my friend & I would play it over-and-over-and-over...... The media write up of the actual live performance seemed to harp on about how over-loud the experience was, so I was unsure whether I would enjoy this.

However, from start to finish it is mesmerizing. Brilliant. The character portayal is excellent. Melanie C gives a fresh take on Mary Magdalene, winning me over with her interpretation. Ben Forster does well in his role as Jesus, his stand-out piece being the haunting 'Gethsemane'. But it has to be said that Tim Minchin 's performance steals the show. His vocal dexterity and the intensity of his role is truly amazing.

The support cast bring the whole piece together, with a special mention for 'Pontius Pilot' , 'Caiaphas' and team - amazing vocals and acting.The 21st century take on both characters,visual effects and costumes is inspired. I'm hoping to catch the show when it runs again this spring! Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical creation at it's best!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2012
This DVD is fab...saw the arena tour 02 ...breath taking ...it helps if you love musicals ..but I think many people will enjoy this if they love the story of Jesus anyway ....Lloyd and Rice ....geniuses ....I could wax lyrical all day ...a great present idea for anybody who couldn't see the tour .....Jesus Christ Superstarmjust gets better and more rewarding for me each time I see and hear it...Not everybodies cuppa tea ....but for me it is ...
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