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Insert Punchline Here: 4 Thoughts on Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell Opening in the Same Season

So, it seems that The Stratford Canada-not-England Festival’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar is transferring to Broadway this spring. Where Godspell will already be playing. So many possible jokes, so little time! Here are some semi-coherent thoughts on the subject(s).

  1. Two shows featuring religious topics on Broadway? Not a big deal. Happens all the time. Two musicals written in the 1970s with rock scores and gently rebellious semi-hippie insinuations, that are also about Jesus (sort of) and his disciples (sort of)? Less common. And somewhere, on some fluffy cloud, the real God just rolled his eyes and said, “Amateurs.”
  2. A possible way to save money? (Producers, LISTEN UP.) Maybe we could just play both shows in repertory in the same theater. Make Hunter Parrish and company learn Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs. For four performances a week, throw a sparkly scarf over whatever artfully deliberate dirty t-shirt will encompass the totality of Hunter’s Godspell costume, et voila. Two Jesuses (Jesi) for the price of one. You think Uzo Aduba can’t rock “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”? Oh, I bet she can.
  3. Maybe the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar can consist of everyone who was NOT cast in Godspell. Gavin Creel as Jesus? Diana DeGarmo as Mary? Or maybe just as the random girl in the second act who confronts Peter, so she doesn’t have to act too much? I’d go see it. OK, maybe not happily or for full price, but still.
  4. Is anyone worried about Jesus Overkill? What’s Jesus Overkill, you ask? Not the name of the greatest rock band of all time that I just made up in my head, no. It’s the name I’m giving to my nagging concern for audience boredom/confusion in regards to these two shows. That said, if Jesus (or the Jesus-like character) in both shows happens to be really cute and sings like a bird, we will happily split our time evenly between the two theaters. In fact, instead of going to real church every Sunday, maybe we’ll just catch the Godspell matinee and Superstar in the evening. The Catholics allow that now, we hear.

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