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The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

Jaylon Thompson’s article on Yahoo Sports
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Jesus Christ Superstar, 50th Anniversary Tour

A Musical Spectacle
(Logo by Ernie Cefalu/
(Logo by Ernie Cefalu/

 To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous rock musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar is on tour throughout North America. Its very first performance being on October 12, 1971, the rock opera retains its fiery passion and strong message fifty years later, justifying itself as the popular classic it is today. With a strong cast, amazing staging, and wonderful music, the musical was a spectacle to witness live in the Lied Center of Kansas on November 4.

 The sung-through musical follows the story of Jesus Christ and his betrayal by Judas leading to his eventual crucifixion. It focuses on interpreting the psychology of the biblical figures and their relationships with each other, with Judas being increasingly frustrated with Jesus and his followers, leading to his betrayal. As a modernized depiction, the characters often use slang, and the plot is used to reference issues in the present day; notably, its depiction of Jesus as a “superstar” and its criticisms of his followers at the time as caring more about his status than his message makes one think of the plight of many modern rockstars and troubles of fame.

 Jesus Christ Superstar contains no spoken dialogue, instead being sung all the way through. This may alienate those who aren’t hardcore musical enthusiasts, but luckily, the songs make sure not to bore you. The musical begins with an iconic guitar riff that hooks you at once; the songs flow together in a way that makes you excited for each one coming. It doesn’t drag throughout any part of its 90-minute runtime, its story beats are fast and hard-hitting, and it makes use of its musical format to highlight the character’s emotions and the ancient story’s tension.

 The acting of the tour cast is nothing less than up to par for a professional musical production. The exceptional cast creates riveting tension with their stunning acting and singing. Combined with impressive staging, special effects, and awe-inspiring music, even someone uninterested in musicals would find it remarkable. Particularly, the excellent performance of Judas (Elvie Ellis) brings a fascinating incarnation of the biblical figure to life, exploring his path to betrayal; his dynamic chemistry with Jesus (Jack Hopewell) is both believable and tragic.

 The 50th-anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar is a wonderful celebration of the musical that makes itself every bit worth the watch. Though it won’t show live again in Kansas until 2024 (which you can keep track of on the official website for the North American tour), this live tour of the musical makes itself something to remember for a long time.

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Dykes
Charlotte Dykes, Writer
Charlotte Dykes is a 17-year-old senior at Bonner Springs High School. She is involved in the school's Scholars Bowl and is a member of the local orchestra. She enjoys analyzing media as well as writing her own stories. In her free time, other than writing, she enjoys playing video games, drawing, and hanging out with her friends.

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  • L

    LisaDec 23, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve seen it live twice, once with my son and we were lucky that both times with Ted Neely as Jesus, like in the movie and album. I first saw the movie when I was younger and my brother had the album! Nothing can compare to seeing it performed live though. I saw it’s coming to Buffalo in 2024, can’t wait!

  • A

    Andrew BagelDec 17, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    Will it possibly come to CA: LA or SD?

    • C

      charlottedykesFeb 7, 2024 at 9:30 am

      It is coming to Sioux Falls, SD on March 29-30. (Sorry for the late reply.)

  • E

    Emily DykesNov 28, 2023 at 11:09 am

    It will be at K State McCain Auditorium on January 31, 2024.