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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
December 24, 2013  | By David Bianculli

Sundance, 10:00 p.m. ET

 

In a case of either perfect or poor timing – a case could be made for both – Sundance uses Christmas Eve as the occasion to televise Jesus Christ Superstar, Norman Jewison’s 1973 movie version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera. Yvonne Elliman reprises her role of Mary Madgalene, singing “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” as she did in the original LP that predated the stage and movie versions, but the other stars in this movie – Ted Neeley as Jesus and Carl Anderson as Judas – are different than those in the original album and Broadway versions. On the 1970 album “demo” that inspired all subsequent productions, Ian Gillan played Jesus, and Murray Head was Judas. On Broadway, in 1971, Jeff Fenholt starred as Jesus, and Ben Vereen played Judas.

 
 
 
 
 
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