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History Music / JesusChristSuperstar

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* CaptainObvious: When [[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]] attended a showing with Music/EltonJohn, he remarked "This is sure to offend the Jews" in regards to the crucifixion scene. [[note]]Ironically, Groucho himself was Jewish, so this may have been self-deprecatory humor on Groucho's part.[[/note]]

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* DemotedToExtra: Aside from Judas, Peter and Simon, the disciples are simply members of the company who come across as [[AdaptionalDumbass a group of naive, blood thirsty or lazy idiots, depending on the scene.]]


A RockOpera and (subverted?) PassionPlay by Creator/AndrewLloydWebber and Creator/TimRice. Originally released as a ConceptAlbum in 1970 (when Lloyd Webber and Rice were still in their very early twenties, no less!), it made its way to the Broadway and London stage in 1971, and was adapted into a film directed by Norman Jewison in 1973. An updated version was recorded sometime around 2000 by Webber's Really Useful Group for Creator/{{PBS}}. A filmed version of the UK arena tour starring Creator/TimMinchin as Judas was released on DVD and digital in 2012, and a live adaptation starting Music/JohnLegend as Jesus, Music/SaraBareilles as Mary Magdalene and Music/AliceCooper as Herod that aired on Creator/{{NBC}} in 2018. The show lives on in stage productions and tours (and even non-theatrical tribute albums from fans who were more attracted to it as an album than a show) to this day.
[[InspiredBy Inspired by]] Literature/TheFourGospels of Literature/TheBible (specifically the arrival in Jerusalem and subsequent crucifixion of Jesus), it chronicles the last seven days of Jesus' life, focusing mainly on the characters of Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene. It's regarded among Andrew Lloyd Webber's best works. It's a pseudo-sequel to ''Theatre/JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat'', though this took a bit more liberty with the source material and is considerably [[DarkerAndEdgier less playful]].

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A RockOpera and (subverted?) PassionPlay by Creator/AndrewLloydWebber and Creator/TimRice. Originally released as a ConceptAlbum in 1970 (when Lloyd Webber and Rice were still in their very early twenties, no less!), it made its way to the Broadway and London stage in 1971, and was adapted into a film directed by Norman Jewison in 1973. An updated version was recorded sometime around 2000 by Webber's Really Useful Group for Creator/{{PBS}}. A filmed version of the UK arena tour starring Creator/TimMinchin as Judas was released on DVD and digital in 2012, and a live adaptation starting Music/JohnLegend as Jesus, Music/SaraBareilles as Mary Magdalene and Music/AliceCooper as Herod that aired on Creator/{{NBC}} in 2018. The show lives on in stage productions and tours (and even non-theatrical tribute albums from fans who were more attracted to it as an album than a show) to this day. \n [[InspiredBy Inspired by]] Literature/TheFourGospels of Literature/TheBible (specifically the arrival in Jerusalem and subsequent crucifixion of Jesus), it chronicles the last seven days of Jesus' life, focusing mainly on the characters of Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene. It's regarded among Andrew Lloyd Webber's best works. It's a pseudo-sequel to ''Theatre/JosephAndTheAmazingTechnicolorDreamcoat'', though this took a bit more liberty with the source material and is considerably [[DarkerAndEdgier less playful]].


* DivineRaceLift: Even though Jesus was a Middle Eastern man, most versions of ''Jesus Christ Superstar'' cast white actors in the role of Jesus. The 2018 televised stage production features an African American man, John Legend, in the role of Jesus.

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* DivineRaceLift: A rather downplayed version in most versions. Even though Jesus was a Middle Eastern man, most versions of ''Jesus Christ Superstar'' cast fair-skinned white actors in the role of Jesus. The But there are fair-skinned Middle Eastern people who can pass for Englishmen or Americans, and the historical Jesus would probably have been no darker than a Sicilian or Southern European man. Played straight in the 2018 televised stage production which features an African American man, John Legend, in the role of Jesus.


* MoodWhiplash: A disturbing amount for a religion-based story. The juxtaposition of Mary Magdalene's sweet CrapsaccharineWorld anthem "Everything's Alright" with Judas's angry accusations against her probably qualifies. An even better example is the jarring shift (at least on the concept album) from King Herod's comical music-hall number to Judas's histrionic reaction to seeing the scourging of Jesus.

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* MoodWhiplash: A disturbing amount for a religion-based story. The juxtaposition of Mary Magdalene's sweet CrapsaccharineWorld anthem "Everything's Alright" with Judas's angry accusations against her probably qualifies. An even better example is the jarring shift (at least on the concept album) from King Herod's comical music-hall number to Judas's histrionic reaction to seeing the scourging of Jesus.


* MovieBonusSong: An unusual example. Not only are there ''two'' ("Could We Start Again, Please," added for the Broadway production, and "Then We Are Decided," a short VillainSong between Annas and Caiaphas added for the movie), but neither are [[AwardBaitSong Award Bait Songs]].

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* MovieBonusSong: An unusual example. Not only are there ''two'' ("Could We Start Again, Please," added for the Broadway production, and "Then We Are Decided," a short VillainSong between Annas and Caiaphas added for the movie), but neither are the latter isn't really an [[AwardBaitSong Award Bait Songs]].Song]].

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* EvilCostumeChange: While they are always antagonistic, in the film Caiaphas and Annas put on blood red robes for Jesus' trial before Pilate.

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* VillainHasAPoint: Over time the biblical Judas has become an archetype of a traitor who betrays [[MoneyDearBoy their closest friends for personal gain.]] Judas in ''JCS'' is however a much more complex character and an example of this. He nails the point in "Heaven On Their Minds": the whole Jesus thing started nicely, but now, it's getting out of hand, as the followers are speaking more and more openly of a violent rebellion against the occupying Romans. Judas sees that Jesus can very easily lose control over people following him, and while Romans can tolerate some religious sect wandering around, any attempt at the revolution will lead to a brutal suppression and nasty reprisal for the entire Judea. Judas has basically a MortonsFork thing: betray his friend and have his name RuinedForever or see the bloody slaughter of his fellow countrymen. Basically he chooses TheNeedsOfTheMany.


* {{Fanservice}}: The 2000 filmed version has shirtless Pilate and dominatrix angels.

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* {{Fanservice}}: The 2000 filmed version has shirtless Pilate and dominatrix {{dominatrix}} angels.


** Many productions leave some amount of ambiguity, but several have thrown in various hints that Jesus resurrected (such as ending with him on the cross, audibly drawing breath after dying). According to movie/long-running stage Jesus Ted Neeley, this was a way of meeting Christian protestors in the middle.

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** Many productions leave some amount of ambiguity, but several have thrown in various hints that Jesus resurrected (such as ending with him on the cross, audibly drawing breath after dying).dying; or just him coming out with the curtain call). According to movie/long-running stage Jesus Ted Neeley, this was a way of meeting Christian protestors in the middle.


Depending on the production (and productions can be ''wildly'' different), the actors and settings in the show are portrayed with [[AnachronismStew blends of modern and biblical-era clothing and motifs]], running with the idea of Jesus being a rockstar-like figure (something not always appreciated by the MoralGuardians), the Apostles being [[NewAgeRetroHippie counter-cultural radicals]], and the Romans dressing in black leather and taking a {{Big Brother|IsWatching}} approach to running TheEmpire. The 2000 filmed version updates the visual metaphors- specifically, setting it in a modern-day dystopic version of the Roman Empire with Nazi-esque guards, where Jesus' followers appear to be a street gang, seen toting submachine guns and assault rifles at times. The 2012 arena tour version and 2018 live broadcast both evoke the Occupy movement, the former more[[{{Anvilicious}} on the nose]] than the latter. The plot is the same, but with different things emphasized in different productions.

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Depending on the production (and productions can be ''wildly'' different), the actors and settings in the show are portrayed with [[AnachronismStew blends of modern and biblical-era clothing and motifs]], running with the idea of Jesus being a rockstar-like figure (something not always appreciated by the MoralGuardians), the Apostles being [[NewAgeRetroHippie counter-cultural radicals]], and the Romans dressing in black leather and taking a {{Big Brother|IsWatching}} approach to running TheEmpire. The 2000 filmed version updates the visual metaphors- specifically, setting it in a modern-day dystopic version of the Roman Empire with Nazi-esque guards, where Jesus' followers appear to be a street gang, seen toting submachine guns and assault rifles at times. The 2012 arena tour version and 2018 live broadcast both evoke the Occupy movement, the former more[[{{Anvilicious}} more [[{{Anvilicious}} on the nose]] than the latter. The plot is the same, but with different things emphasized in different productions.


* HeroicBSOD: Many characters. Most notably, Judas becomes increasingly conflicted [[CosmicPlaything with his role in Jesus' life]] [[ForegoneConclusion before being]] [[DrivenToSuicide driven to suicide near the end of the work]]. Pilate, likewise, has a breakdown when he condemns Jesus to death in accordance with the public's request ("Trial by Pilate"). Jesus knows [[BecauseDestinySaysSo struggles with the knowledge of his imminent death]] [[ButThouMust but knows he has to because that's what he was born to do]] ("Gethsemane").

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* HeroicBSOD: Many characters. Most notably, Judas becomes increasingly conflicted [[CosmicPlaything with his role in Jesus' life]] [[ForegoneConclusion before being]] being [[DrivenToSuicide driven to suicide near the end of the work]]. Pilate, likewise, has a breakdown when he condemns Jesus to death in accordance with the public's request ("Trial by Pilate"). Jesus knows [[BecauseDestinySaysSo struggles with the knowledge of his imminent death]] but [[ButThouMust but knows he has to because that's what he was born to do]] ("Gethsemane"). ("Gethsemane").
* HesitantSacrifice: Jesus in ''Gethsemane''.

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* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: "It isn't blood money, it's a fee, nothing more."

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** "You have murdered me! Murdered me murdered me murdered me murdered me murdered me murdered me murdered..."


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* InsanityDefense: Pilate tries this on Jesus. How much [[JesusWasCrazy he really is insane]] depends on production.


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* KilledMidSentence: The 1973 film presents Judas' death this way. He shouts "murdered me", ending with "murdered..." just as he hangs himself. In the 2000 film, however, he breaks down crying mid-sentence and actually kills himself some time later. Technically, he still dies with his sentence unfinished.


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* NeverMyFault:
** Pilate washing his hands, as he does in the Bible, symbolizes that he feels himself innocent in Jesus' death. Whereas in the Bible it's because he had the crowd make the final choice, here it's because Jesus failed to defend himself.
** This is how Judas' MyGodWhatHaveIDone turns into a RageAgainstTheHeavens. Not only does he blame God for making him betray Jesus, but also for his own suicide.
--> '''Judas:''' You have murdered me!


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* PsychoticSmirk: In the 2000 film, one of the priests does this multiple times during ''This Jesus Must Die''.

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* SittingSexyOnAPiano: In the 2000 film, Herod does it in Herod's Song.

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