A Glorious ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Marks Return of Touring Musicals to Segerstrom Center

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James T. Justis and the company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – Photo by Matthew Murphy

You know things are looking better when “Jesus Christ” comes to Costa Mesa.

The exclusive Southern California engagement of the reimagined 50th Anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Segerstrom Center—the first musical to be staged at The Center in 18 months.

But this is not a typical musical. Part rock show and part spectacle, “Jesus Christ Superstar” began life as a 1971 recording that was named Album of the Year by Billboard.

Originally concepted as a rock album by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the duo successfully transferred their concept to the stage. It was one of their earliest musical successes, with many more to follow.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. It’s a familiar story, which helps to fill in plot points and exposition.

James T. Justis and the company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – Photo by Matthew Murphy

The legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.”

As the motto for the show states: “An album that inspired a revolution, a revelation that changed the world, a reinvention for this millennium.”

A reinvention it is. This production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” combines elements of stadium rock and roll shows with the intimacy and nuances of musical theater.

The on-stage band sets the tone with a blaring intro that reminds us this is no mere musical. The large ensemble of dancers brings that tone to life with nearly non-stop energetic dancing and singing, while the principals command attention with their stage presence and vocal chops.

The company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR – Photo by Matthew Murphy

There are no weak links in this rocking chain. It moves like a thoroughbred racehorse assured of victory. And it is indeed victorious—the opening night audience gave the show a well-deserved standing ovation.

It seems the light at the end of the Covid tunnel is getting brighter day by day, show by show.

Single tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar, which runs through November 14, start at $28 and are available online at www.SCFTA.org, at the Box office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling (714) 556-27872.

For additional information about this production, please visit www.ustour.JesusChristSuperstar.com.

Audience Advisory: Segerstrom Center’s updated COVID-19 policy requires ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to attend all indoor performances and events at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. “Fully vaccinated” means your performance is at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose. To enter the theatre, please bring proof of vaccination, either your physical vaccination card, a picture of your vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record. Those who are under age 12 and anyone without proof of being fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (3 days) prior to entering the theatre. Masks are required at all times for all patrons and visitors regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces at Segerstrom Center.

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