I worked on the original Los Angeles production of Jesus Christ, Superstar at the Universal Amphitheater in the early '70s, and say what you will about the film or of subsequent productions, this show was a knockout. It was before they put a roof over the amphitheater, so there was a magnificent view of the San Fernando Valley behind the stage. The director, Tom O'Horgan, made brilliant use of.this during the finale, in which high intensity lights and strobes flashed through smoke around the crucifixion, blending with the clear lights of the valley below. It was enough to make you a believer.
There was a revival of the show at the Universal Amphitheater just about five years ago with the original Jesus and Judas, Ted Neely and Carl Anderson, so I had to go, this time with my eight-year-old son Buster. I'm Jewish and Buster had never been to a church in his life. All he knew about Jesus was that he had something to do with Christmas.
He enjoyed the show enormously. It was not only his first live Broadway musical, it was his first contact with the story of Jesus Christ. The next day one of his friends asked Buster about Jesus Christ. Here's what he told them.
"Jesus was this cool guy who lived 2,000 years ago. He had long hair and wore a robe and he preached peace and love and stuff till he got a lot of followers who thought he was the messiah. Then one of his followers named Judas betrayed him to the Romans who nailed him to a cross and he died. Then I went backstage and met him and told him how good he was. I told him I really liked the part where they crucified him. Then I met Judas and told him how good he was, even better than Jesus. It was really cool because dad was friends with Jesus, and this wasn't some new Jesus, it was the original Jesus. Then dad and Jesus and Judas had a glass of wine together while I ran around the dressing room playing with Jesus's kids."
Merry Christmas from the Dares
"The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face."
-Jack Handy -