What’s that buzz? Jesus Christ’s in town

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What’s that buzz? Jesus Christ’s in town

The temperature has dropped sharply in the past few days, so jingling bells, mistletoe and glasses of eggnog are just around the corner. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than with a big-scale, all-singing, all-dancing musical based on the life of the man of the season: Jesus.
“Jesus Christ Superstar,” the controversial 1971 rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, opens later this month in Seoul.
This production marks the first visit to Korea by the original team behind the award-winning Broadway revival from 2000.
The show debuted in the early 1970s surrounded by controversy. Some Christian groups called the production sacrilegious because it depicted Jesus as a man rather than as the son of God.
The story is based on the last seven days of Jesus’ life, focusing on the very human struggle between the apostle Judas Iscariot and Jesus in the lead-up to his betrayal.
Jesus Christ Superstar has been staged in more than 30 countries, and it is one of the highest grossing musicals of all time, along with other blockbusters such as “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables,” and two other Lloyd Weber shows, “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
The songs in Jesus Christ Super Star have stood the test of time. Numbers like “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” “Everything’s All Right,” “Gethsemane,” and “Superstar,” are well-known hits.
The four main actors are Cito, who plays Jesus, Robert Finlayson, who plays Judas, Gina Shmukler, Mary, and Rohan Browne, King Herod.
Browne is actually no stranger to these shores. This is his second appearance in a musical in Korea this year. He played the leopard-like tom cat Rum Tum Tugger, the “curious cat,” in Cats in the summer. His performance in that show left many women in the audience spellbound.
Jesus Christ Superstar runs from Dec. 12 to 18 at the Jamsil Stadium, southeastern Seoul, and from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23 at the Busan Citizen’s Hall, Busan.
The musical will be staged at 8 p.m. on weekdays, at 3 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets range from 120,000 won ($129) to 55,000 won in Seoul and 100,000 won to 40,000 won in Busan.
For more information call (02) 3446-9630 or visit www.musical superstar.co.kr

By Lee Ho-jeong Staff Reporter [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]
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