Friday April 4th, 2014
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Since it premiered in 1971, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award winning musical about Jesus’ crucifixion, has always seemed to garner a bit of controversy where biblical accuracy is concerned. The music is great, but the content remains debatable. Is it historically accurate? It is offensive?
For example, some feel that because the musical does not contain a resurrection scene, it is incomplete and therefore blasphemous. Others feel that the character of Judas is portrayed as someone who did not have a “free choice” in betraying Jesus, and that when he returns after his suicide, he descends from the fly loft and uses the title song to comment on Jesus’ life. And still others feel that the relationship between Jesus and Mary is not clear, perhaps even inappropriate.
Our production attempts to address those issues head on.
The musical was created during the GLAM ROCK era. So it is no accident that this story of the Passion, is a Rock-n-roll musical. Yes the lyrics completely humanize the characters and provide hypothetical insight into some of their “trials and tribulations.”
However, for me, they are not fictional characters. We are portraying historical figures who existed, and it is my absolute conviction that Jesus is the Son of God, is part of the Holy Trinity, was born through Mary, died on the cross and resurrected on the 3rd day. Furthermore, I hold that Judas chose freely to betray Jesus and that there was absolutely no relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus beyond Mary’s realization that Jesus was the son of God. In fact, nowhere in the bible does it say that Mary was a prostitute (although I am aware she is commonly portrayed as one) All that is certain (Luke 8:1-3) is that Jesus cast out 7 demons from Mary in the same way He saved others. Often people confuse John 8:7 with Mary Magdalene. (Jesus meets an angry mob ready to stone a prostitute to death. He admonishes them with the line, “He without sin cast the first stone”. Nowhere is there any indication that the prostitute in that parable was Mary Magdalene).
In this production you can be assured, we are clear on the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. There is absolutely no sexual tension. When Mary sings “I don’t know how to love him” , for us, she is expressing her frustration, her search for an answer on how to love and appreciate the Son of God. She is searching for an internal faith. And by the end of the musical she finds it. In fact, according to the Bible she is more devoted to Jesus at the end (stands by the cross, does not hide, and is rewarded by being the first person to whom Jesus appears).
In this production we have cast Jesus, Judas, Mary and the apostles and followers as students. We have cast the Religious and Roman authority as adults, all in an attempt to achieve 2 main goals: 1) Because the future of Christianity currently lies in the hearts of the youth (Pope Pius’s call to engage the youth into their Christian apostolate, urging them to take up the “cross” where the adults, many priests and many bishops have failed). 2) To symbolically represent how at times, some adult communities, law makers, politicians, celebrities and mainstream Hollywood seem to deliberately control or prevent Christian values and beliefs from being encouraged and displayed.
Other notable artistic changes we are are attempting are in the Leper scene, the Temple scene and the Ending.

We believe that Jesus would not be overwhelmed by the sick. And to deliver the line “there’s too man of you” in a way that implies “I can’t help you all because I can’t” is false.
We believe there is no evidence to support that Jesus had a violent outburst in the Temple. We do recognize he was upset and we feel there are several ways someone can portray anger.
We believe Jesus is the son of mankind. Jesus died on the cross and 3 days He resurrected.

We have gone through painstaking research, analyzing this musical line by line, word by word to bring our Thesis to the stage.
At the end of the production, it will remain simply our interpretation of a musical theatre masterpiece that began long before we fell in love with it and will last and re-imagined by others long after our production closes.


Lajeunesse High School
600E C Row Avenue
Windsor, Ontario

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