There’s an episode of “All in the Family” (the greatest television show ever.) where Archie Bunker gets thrown into jail because he went looking for his son-in-law Mike (meathead) at a protest rally that gets raided. Inside the large cell with other freaks and hippies (it’s the 70s!) Archie, mister.close-minded encounters a hippie listening to a transistor radio playing a tune from the hit Broadway play and album “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The scene goes something like this (note: may not be word for word accurate):Archie: Is that music coming off yous somewhere? Turn that off!
Hippie: Sir, this is “Jesus Christ Superstar.” All around the world this is bringing young people to Christ and you condemn it? Don’t you dig Jesus?
Archie: Jesus Christ I dig, and I dug him a long time before you weirdos made him a superstar.
In retrospect, Archie unravels a thought provoking affirmation. What does it say about people, religion, and um.Jesus if we have to turn him into a superstar, in order to attract, or convert young people into the story contained in the first five books of the New Testament?
Ever since the release of the music and Broadway show, Christians have been troubled by the play, its portrayal of Jesus, the omission of the resurrection, and the sympathy it has towards the character Judas.
Theater goers here in the green mountains can ponder these questions on April 14th when Castleton State College’s Casella Theater premiers “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
While pondering, you can bang your head to catchy tunes like, “What’s the buzz,” sung by your fellow colleagues here at Castleton. Also, you can appreciate some unique costumes done by Jennifer Usher and the soulful vocal stylings of the talented players. Currently, director Harry McEnerny is slowly putting together what he called, “The ultimate group project.” This “group” he’s referring to comprises forty players and twenty piece band. They are rehearsing religiously (pun intended) and the actors are passionate in their parts.
For example, when asked, Ty Robinson, who plays one of the apostles said, “It’s more than a musical, it’s an outstanding, over-the-top rock opera.”
Even though this would not please Archie Bunker, I have a feeling that most people interested in the buzz won’t mind Jesus being a superstar.