Jesus Christ Superstar | The Muny 

If the next six shows shine as much as the first, then friends, we are in-store for a magically memorable ride!

Although the official start of summer is technically still a few days away, opening night of The Muny’s 99th season signified the start of summer in my mind. And if the next six shows shine as much as the first, then friends, we are in-store for a magically memorable ride!
What better way to kick-off the season than with a global phenomenon fans have been singing along with since the 70s: Jesus Christ Superstar! When Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber teamed up back then, they gifted the world with a style of show that was anything but standard for the time. They combined their extraordinary talents to create a rock opera with no dialogue…about Jesus Christ!
The plot covers the last week of Jesus’ life, concluding with his crucifixion. This tale presents a story that is only loosely based on the Bible’s account of Jesus’ final days. With that being said, this isn’t a show that’s wrapped up with history or religion. Instead, its story is told through a pop culture lens, with emphasis on Judas Iscariot’s perspective on the series of events that led Jesus to the cross. (Judas, as you might remember, is the notorious Biblical figure and disciple who betrayed Jesus.) This isn’t a show that tells you what to think; it’s up for interpretation.
The lack of dialogue certainly took some getting used to, but I suppose who needs dialogue when everyone in this production delivers dynamite vocals! As I noted before, this is a rock opera and Constantine Maroulis (cast as Judas) and Bryce Ryness (playing Jesus) are the pitch perfect fit for this genre! Ciara Renée, who played Mary Magdalene, was a powerhouse as well, and together, these three performers wowed the crowd song after song after song alongside their fellow players.
The ensemble, which features adult and youth members, performed with such force that I missed the power of their presence when they were offstage (not to say the leads didn’t exude palpable energy as well)! Of course it wasn’t just the casts’ collective energy that made this show so incredibly grabbing; the costumes were eye-catching as well, especially during the flashy, famous number “Superstar.”
Before the show began, we heard a heartfelt word from Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson, who described The Muny with a four-word tagline: alone in its greatness. This production of Jesus Christ Superstar is an embodiment of this sentiment, as I’m confident the next show, The Little Mermaid, will be as well. Cheers to The Muny’s 99th season of greatness; summer 2017 is off to a super start! | Megan Washausen Randall 
Jesus Christ Superstar runs through June 18. (Pssst, tickets would make a great Father’s Day present!) For ticket information, visit https://muny.org/jesus-christ-superstar/. 

6 Comments on Jesus Christ Superstar | The Muny 

  1. I was at the Muny last night to see the show that you lavished praise on. There was very little to praise here. Bryce Ryness had neither the power or vocal range for the part of Jesus and left the audience wincing at each high note (read hear screech). His performance theatrically was stiff and wooden with the only thing to say is that he pawed Mary Magdalene at every opportunity. The introduction of Nazi-esque set and costumes was visually and thematically jarring. The power of the original score was muted into a muddy morass of bland. The only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing show was the performance of Constantine Maroulis as a powerful Judas. The choreography would have been OK for a high school production but not was not of the caliber expected at the Muny. The costumes were banal and derivative with many calling to mind “Godspell”.

    You do your readers a disservice when you attempt to make a mediocre show something to rave about. I have seen much better and expect more from a professional Muny production. I would also expect a more balanced review from what should be an independent source and not a promotional piece touting manure as perfume. I have to wonder if your theater critic even went to the show. From her review, I doubt it.

  2. I was also at The Muny this same night and I couldn’t agree more with Megan’s assessment. Her review was thoughtful, well-written, and an excellent representation of the show’s events.

    For you to attack the set, the costumes and the choreography makes you out to be a big bitch. You must be one of those theater snobs who thinks that only Broadway shows matter.

    This show was brilliant from start to end crammed full of excellent performances, wonderful choreography, and impressive set designs.

    Unlike you, The Muny is a St. Louis legend who only gets better with age.

    Don’t you have a bridge to troll under?

  3. The only troll here is you my friend. If you like this shlock, more power to you. I have been in theater my whole life and this was not the best of what St Louis has to offer. If you found this brilliant, you must be one of those that feel any garbage offered is wonderful and would not know a truly excellent performance if it hit you in the face. There was no reason for the attack. This was my opinion and if you listened to the half-hearted applause at the end and spoke to many of the other theater goers, the opinion of many others there. By your personal attack, it is obvious that you know nothing about critiquing anything.

  4. Now you sound like a bigger bitch. I heard thunderous applause.

    Whatever Scott, you always think your opinion is the only one that matters.(And its not)

    Jealously is a killer in this industry. And you are obviously green with envy.

  5. There is no jealousy and you obviously have me mistaken with someone else. Who is Scott? Once again, the name calling is childish and unnecessary. Grow up!

  6. I’m not the one who came on this site to defame someone. You need to grow up.

    I have read Megan for years and think she is one of the top reviewers in St. Louis. She tells it like it is and doesn’t kiss unnecessary ass.

    You must really be bothered you were outed.

    Shook. Pure shook.

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