I have always like Jesus Christ Superstar. I saw it originally at the old Kiel Opera House and I own the original vinyl (33 1/3) record set. I also own the video of the Movie from 1973. (I think I might need to update to a DVD.) I also recently purchased the new video of the Broadway show.
About 15 years ago or so there was a touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar starring the two lead characters from the 1973 movie. Ted Neely as Jesus and Carl Anderson (1946-2004) as Judas. This show also had Dennis DeYoung (STYX) as Pilate. This version of the show was excellent. My wife Charli and I saw it at the Fox Theatre. We had seats near the front on the right and could see everything well (even though there isn't really a bad seat at the Fox). This was probably the best stage show I have ever seen. I had a great time and would have loved to have seen that show a second time.
When I found out that JCS was going to be coming back to St. Louis (over my birthday weekend) I knew I was going to have to go. I immediately asked a friend if she would like to go with me and she agreed. This was two months in advance. As soon as the tickets became available I bought them.
While online purchasing the tickets I noticed that the Fox now offers a buffet dinner in The Griffen Room. I didn't even know the Fox offered this and I thought it would be fun so I bought two tickets to this too.
A couple of weeks before the show my date informed me that she has something else she has to do on the day of the show. As the tickets are non-refundable I have a nice little investment here that I could lose if we don't go. She started by saying that she would have to meet me there, then she changed it to skipping the dinner and just doing the show, then she suggested that we just try to sell the tickets and possibly go another night. I told her if that is what she wants to do that she could. The tickets ended up not getting sold, and she didn't go to the show. I ended up having to find someone last minute (the day of the show) to go with just so I wouldn't end up waisting the tickets.
So... We arrived at the Fox about 5:50 and stood out front until 6pm when they started seating for the buffet. When we went up we were greeted promptly and seated. Our waiter came over and took our beverage orders and suggested we help ourselves to the buffet. The food on the buffet was average catering fare. A spinach salad, rolls, 3 entrees; peppered beef in gravy, BBQ chicken w/ beans, and some type of fish (which was dry). There were also steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes (which tasted like they were made from instant potatoes).
When we were finished with the buffet the waiter brought over a dessert tray and showed us the 6 selections. We both chose the white chocolate cheesecake (those skinny little slices you get from those precut cheesecakes that caterers offer). The waiter didn't tell us that dessert wasn't included with the meal. When we were just about done he sat down a bill on the table. These 2 little cheesecake wedges were $8.50 a-piece. They added tax and (for our convenience) an 18% gratuity that was listed as a "Service" line item. $21.50 for two little slivers of cheesecake.
The show started about 5 minutes late. There were three cast substitutions announced just before the show started. As I had expected, this version of JCS was the updated (Y2K version) like in the Broadway show video I have. They used the new words for the songs and the the cast dressed appropriately for today. Jesus was in a white untucked dress shirt and khaki pants. Judas was dressed in black leather (pants, coat). One of the disciples was in camo gear, a lot of them were in t-shirts or oversized clothes which is the style today.
As the show started I noticed the music was played a bit faster than in the 1973 version which I didn't really mind. But as the show progressed it seemed the entire production was in a bit more of a hurry. It was like they were rushing some of the songs, getting from the end of one into the next one as fast as they possibly could. Several of the performers didn't seem to have the range required of some of the songs either. They seemed to be straining. Maybe two performances a day takes it toll?
Overall I enjoyed the performance. Had I not seen the previous stage versions or been such a fan of the 1973 version I probably would have enjoyed this more. I think for someone that had never seen a stage version of this show they would have found it highly entertaining and would have enjoyed it immensly.
Buffet in The Griffen Room @ The Fox Theatre: * * (Two Stars (out of 10 possible))
Waste of time and money. Poor service, plain food, too expensive. I'm sorry I did it.
Jesus Christ Superstar @ The Fox Theatre: * * * * * * (Six Stars (out of 10 possible))
Seemed rushed but I enjoyed it, although I prefered the original version.