Jesus Christ Superstar
Reviewed by David Kashimba

All the passion in Pacific Alliance Stage Companyís production of Jesus Christ Superstar is in the music. Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the music and lyrics is the thing. There are very few spoken words by any of the characters. They simply rock on from one song to the other. Conducted by Tom Martin, who also plays bass, the piano and organ is played by Jason Sherbundy, keyboards by John MacKay, Guitars by Tom Edwards and percussion by George Smeltz.

With an Eastern European setting in 1953, the characters of Pontius Pilate (Craig Mason) and Caiaphas (Steven Patterson) are dressed in uniforms resembling the then mighty Soviet Army. In typical rock-and-roll fashion, itís these darker characters, including Judas and Mary Magdalene that have all the best songs. Indeed, Judas, who would make a great Elvis impersonator in Los Vegas, seems to be the real superstar in this performance.

Jesus, played by Steven Abbott has an excellent voice, but his character is very sad throughout the entire performance. Perhaps his sadness comes from the fact that he wears a suit and tie for the entire production. Judas, on the other hand, displays a wide range of emotions and wears some very colorful clothes. Itís also only Judas that experiences a resurrection of sorts when, after committing suicide, he sings some heavy-duty rock-and-roll in black leather pants and a flamboyantly colored lose fitted silk shirt. The musical ends on Jesusí crucifixion with no hint or hope of resurrection.

If youíre looking for a more sympathetic Jesus who brings light and laughter to the world, go see a production of Godspell. But if you just want to see some fine entertainment with performers raising some hell on the stage to a heavy downbeat, this production of Jesus Christ Superstar wonít disappoint you.

For tickets or more information call (707) 588-3434.

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