Jesus Christ Superstar at Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago

Jesus Christ Superstar is a musical phenomenon with a worldwide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new critically acclaimed production comes to Chicago to the Cadillac Palace Theatre during the North American tour.

The show remains based on the 2016 award-winning revival at London's Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. But actor Aaron LaVigne, who played Jesus since the US tour launched in 2019 and estimates he has performed the role about 300 times to date, thinks audiences may see it differently now.

"I think it's changed because humanity has changed since virus in the way we treat each other and the way we see each other," LaVigne said.

This production is a tribute to the 1971 Billboard Album of the Year. It appeals to both theatre audiences and concert music lovers. Jesus Christ Superstar features award-winning music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Tim Rice's lyrics. It is set against the extraordinary backdrop of the last weeks of Jesus Christ's life as seen through Judas' eyes. The legendary score reflects the rock roots that have defined a generation. It includes ''I Don't Know How to Love Him', Gethsemane', and 'Superstar.

The work is loosely base on the Gospels' account of the Passion. It interprets the psychology and motivations of Jesus and other characters. Much of the plot centers on Judas who is unhappy with the direction Jesus is taking his disciples. The lyrics of the rock opera are influenced by contemporary attitudes, sensibilities, and slang. Ironic references to modern life are sprinkled throughout the portrayal of political events. Many anachronisms are intentionally included in film and stage productions.

Director Timothy Sheader wanted the show to be a celebration of music. He wanted the raw power of the sounds to be the center of the show. He and his creative team returned to the source material, which was the original double album, nicknamed "The Brown Album" because of its brown cover.

"They said, let's dive as deep into the music, lyrics, melodies and orchestrations as possible and then cast the people who can do that and tell a really intense story at the same time," LaVigne said. "This version stays true to the music and stays true to storytelling, but a lot more of it is told through dance and choreography."

The composers were initially unable to secure funding for a stage production. Instead, they released the album as a concept album. This success led to the Broadway debut of the show on Broadway in 1971. The musical had earned more than $237 million worldwide by 1980. It ran in London for eight years between 1972 and 1980. Before being overtaken in 1989 by Cats, it held the record of longest-running West End musical.

Jesus Christ Superstar takes place against the backdrop of extraordinary events that took place during the last weeks of the life of Jesus Christ as seen through Judas' eyes. The legendary score includes 'I Don't Know How To Love Him', Gethsemane', and 'Superstar'. It reflects the rock roots that have defined a generation.

Jesus Christ Superstar has a global fan base and is a well-known musical phenomenon. This epic performance, which attracted more than 9.6 million viewers and was rated the highest in its time, received the highest critical rating of any live musical event broadcast on NBC. A variety of special edition Jesus Christ Superstar albums were released on September 17, 2021, after they had been remastered at Abbey Road. These commemorative editions celebrate the original 1970 double-concept album and its continuing success over 50 years.

Aaron LaVigne leads the show as Jesus, joined by Jenna Rubaii as Mary. Omar Lopez-Cepero joins the cast as Judas. The tour also features Alvin Crawford as Caiphas, Tommy Sherlock as Pilate, and Tyce Green as Annas. Pepe Nufrio returns to the tour as the standby for Jesus and Judas.

The North American tour of this classic musical features lyrics and music from Emmy, Grammy and Tony winners Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lee Curran. It is directed by Timothy Sheader and renowned choreographer Drew McOnie. The creative team includes Tom Scutt (set and costume designer), Lee Curran (lighting design) and Nick Lidster (sound design). Music supervision is provided by Tom Deering, and David Holcenberg is the North American music supervisor.

Jesus Christ Superstar will play sixteen performances at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph St.) from July 19 through July 31, 2022.