Tearjerker / Jesus Christ Superstar

  • Knowing what's going to happen.
    • "Heaven on Their Minds" can be pretty tragic with this in mind.
  • Judas practically begging the priests for reassurance that he's doing the right thing in "Damned For All Time." Villain? Hardly.
  • The "Trials and Tribulations" refrain in "The Last Supper" is pretty tragic, knowing that this is the last time the disciples will be happy for quite some time.
  • "Gethsemane." Dear Lord, Gethsemane.
    • Steve Balsamo's 2004 performance in Ahoy, Holland is particularly heartbreaking.
    • "Surely I've exceeded expectations?"
  • "Could We Start Again, Please?" if the production includes it.
  • "Judas' Death."
    • Tim Minchin's rendition, particularly the reprise of "I Don't Know How To Love Him."
  • John 19:41. Jesus Christ is dead. The end.
    • The ending of the original movie, with all the hippies, except for the one portraying Jesus, slowly getting back on the bus, with Judas remaining the longest, wistfully looking at the cross before the bus drives away...
  • Almost any good cast will put some real feeling and friendship into the Jesus-Judas relationship; when you realise that Judas was a pawn in a desperate gamble by the Jewish authorities; a guy who didn't want to have his friend killed and just wanted everything to be the way it was back when they were quiet and safe... and then you realise that he's been demonised by everyone ever since. It might not be in the canon, but it SHOULD BE!
  • Pilate, from start to finish, in the 1973 version. To elaborate, he opens by singing about a dream he had about crucifying Jesus, which he doesn't want to do, but as anyone who knows the story will tell you, he will anyways. He gets increasingly angry at the fact that no matter how hard he tries, he can't change anything. Even as the crowds riot and threaten to rebel, he still tries desperately to save Jesus. It's only when Jesus tells him he can't be saved that Pilate finally turns on him.
    Pilate: Don't let me stop your great self-destruction! Die if you want to!