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  Jesus Christ Superstar Reviews
Jesus Christ Superstar
Lyric Opera

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...The most arresting performance of the night is from Jo Lampert, whose take on Mary Magdalene, she who wonders of love, is completely different from any you have seen before, and vocally spectacular to boot. Another moment that will fascinate anyone who, like, me, long ago committed to memory every note of the show is Heath Saunders’ performance as Jesus of “Gethsemane” (the impossible song with the famous high-G tonal shout). He sings most of it while also playing guitar, which innately pushes his voice into a more regular rhythm than you usually hear, and that then allows him to achieve a very stark contrast in the final stanza. It’s very cool to hear."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Listen to the ethereal, vaguely ominous opening notes of the Lyric Opera’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and one thing becomes undeniable: This is not your grandmother’s “Superstar.” Nor is it John Legend’s televised live “Superstar” from a few weeks ago, nor Ted Neeley’s movie “Superstar” from 1973. It’s not even the Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) – Tim Rice (lyrics) concept album that dropped in 1970. Nor has director Timothy Sheader merely replicated the Olivier Award-winning London production he originated in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2016."
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Catey Sullivan



Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Sheader's is a rock show/opera unlike any other. Upstage, nearly obscured by seven full-size trees, sits the glorious-sounding 31-member Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by original music director Tom Deering and accompanied by a rock-solid rock band. The sextet plays from the second story of designer Tom Scutt's industrial set, whose steel girders and wooden ramps nearly obscure (or do they shield?) the Gethsemane beyond."
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Barbara Vitello



Chicago Stage Review- Highly Recommended

"...Lyric Opera brings to Superstar everything that a production of this magnitude needs to make it world-class. Technical capabilities, staging wizardry, a singular venue, and the flawless support of the superb Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus create a stage experience that is unrivaled right now on American soil. Rock music and passion have always gone hand in hand. Lyric’s Jesus Christ Superstar is a shining testament to that."
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Lori Dana



Chicago On the Aisle- Recommended

"...This “Jesus Christ Superstar” is certainly operatic in its grandiose theatrical setting, and its dramatic values are strong, even if its deafening sound has nothing to do with grand opera’s traditional acoustical profile. The lyric theater continues to evolve, with implications that the Lyric Opera of Chicago has clearly noted."
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Nancy Malitz



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Timothy Sheader with choreography by Drew McONIE, this is a sensation transformation from concert to stage and back again as a concert-style. The musicians, under the direction of Tom Deering, are on the stage for the show’s entirety, and the set sort of looks like stacks of boxes ( think of the set for the old “Hollywood Squares TV game), but divide into three simple areas. Musicians are on several levels and actors/singers/dancers use all the other areas to do their thing."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...But the vocal gymnastics, the singing power of these performers, is not to be missed. As Judas, Ryan Shaw navigates arguably Weber’s most complex vocal part with nothing less than virtuosity. As Mary Magdalene, Jo Lampert soars. Heath Saunders’ Jesus has your heart from his very first note. Michael Cunio roars Pontius Pilate through a nineties grunge lens that is terrifying and weirdly sympathetic. Mykal Kilgore’s Simon Zealot pops with impossible energy and Shaun Fleming’s Herrod is unforgettable."
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Emma Couling



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...The Lyric’s impressive production is, perhaps, the finest of all its musical theatre offerings. The show sets the bar high for future productions. It overflows with emotion and so many exciting, luminary performances. Timothy Sheader’s radiant, intelligently guided and smoothly staged production, accompanied by Tom Deering’s full, rich orchestra, is an absolute masterpiece. Staged all over Tom Scutt’s impressive, multilevel set, and even out into the aisles, and lit by Lee Curran as a spectacle of concert lighting and eerie moodiness and shadow, this is a tale of mankind’s fear and hope. Sheader’s cast tells a never-to-be-forgotten story of a people and a time when Heaven was truly on everyone’s minds."
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Collin Douglas



Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended

"...Familiarity with Tim Rice’s lyrics will benefit the spectator. I lost many of the words to the decibel power of the rock music. The Lyric abandoned its policy of providing supertitles to the singing, doubtless because the lyrics were all in English, but the audience’s approval throughout the evening indicated that most listeners had no difficulty with the words. In any case, the potency of the story and the magnificence of the performances should carry the spectator to an emotional high. Excellence is excellence, even if not every word is understood."
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Dan Zeff



Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...This production is passionate and accessible, but more connection is expected from the Holy Trinity of Rice, Webber and Lyric. Yet one of the most powerful conceits of the show and this production is that "He's a man, he's just man." Both Mary and Judas sing that song, indicating that the divinity is not as important as the relationship. And that's terribly true in these times-eschew the dogma, remember the humanity."
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Karin McKie



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Each creative aspect of theatre combines to make this production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR something incredibly special. The performances, the choreography, the scenic design, etc. are all individually outstanding, but it’s the final combination of these things that put the experience on another level."
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Stephanie Dykes



Patch- Highly Recommended

"...The feeling that you have after attending Lyric Opera's premiere of "Jesus Christ Superstar" is difficult to explain. So much to analyze, so much to remember, and so much to love about this outstanding production! "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit," said Jesus on the cross. Lyric Opera of Chicago found a unique way to celebrate Jesus Christ, his life, his death, and his resurrection. And with God's help, it is a success!"
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Natalia Dagenhart



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...The Rock Opera Jesus Christ, Superstar is about as iconic a musical as the modern era has produced. The familiar territory of this show-not only does the story hold no surprises to anyone even remotely familiar with the gospels, but the music, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was introduced first as a concept album that made its way into almost everyone's collection-forces almost every production to find new ways of presenting it. The recently televised NBC production went for a bold, industrial look (all exposed scaffolding) and introduced Jesus' followers as a group of acolytes lost in their love for a charismatic leader. It also set a new standard for the crucifixion scene, which has always been problematic onstage."
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Karen Topham