Trivia

Jesus Christ Superstar

Josh Young in the 2012 Broadway revival (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Bob Dylan

Tim Rice says he was initially inspired by the Bob Dylan lyric, “I can’t think for you, you’ll have to decide, did Judas Iscariot have God on his side?” from the song, “With God on Our Side.”

 

Guildford School of Acting

John Lennon as Jesus?

Urban legend has it that John Lennon was offered the role of Jesus on December 3, 1969. He wasn’t—the story was the result of a journalist making mischief when interviewing Rice.

 

Guildford School of Acting

The Vatican

In the early 1970s, the Vatican’s radio station played the album, although the official Vatican newspaper frowned on it. Meanwhile, some U.S. stations played the whole double album without commercials.

 

Yvonne Elliman as Mary and Jeff Fenholt as Jesus in the original 1971 Broadway production (Photo: NYPL/Billy Rose Theatre Division)

Most Promising Composer

As a result of the original Broadway production, Andrew Lloyd Webber won the 1972 Drama Desk Award for “Most Promising Composer.”

 

Chilina Kennedy, Paul Nolan & Josh Young in the 2012 Broadway revival (Photo: Joan Marcus)

ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog...

…starred as Mary Magdalene in the 1972 Swedish production.

 

Tim Minchin in the 2012 tour (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Multi-Tasker Tim Minchin

In 2012, Lloyd Webber produced a reality show called Superstar to find the next Jesus for a new arena tour. Ben Forster won. Matilda and Groundhog Day scribe Tim Minchin played Judas, while the Spice Girls’ Melanie C was Mary.

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