Reviewed by Suzanne Birrell
From the first chords back in the 1970's, Jesus Christ Superstar, penned by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, was a hit. And the current performance by the Doma Theatre Group reminds us why
Jesus Christ Superstar is still over the top - WOW - OMG - and timely. Stop reading and
order your tickets! You don't want to miss this.
Masterfully directed by Marco Gomez,Jesus Christ Superstar brings commentary of his time into the 21
st century. Priests are dressed impeccably as businessmen, the people wave iphones and take selfies. All this rolled into high energy, edge of your seats, toe tapping fun which makes it so hard not to sing along. It's quite brilliant.
The show starts in the audience with a glimpse of current reality and then pulls us onto the stage. Judas (Jeremy Saje) sings the opening song and I do believe he has been preparing for this role his entire career. Jeremy Saje from start to finish, from high notes to low, from angry to reflective, was absolutely incredible. Add to the cast Nate Parker as Jesus Christ whose high voice cut thru the throngs of the masses which such clarity as to be divine. Renee Cohen as Mary Magdalene was a woman with depth and heart. Kelly Brighton as Pontius Pilot was spot-on with a wonderful voice and just the right amount of emotion. He broke the fourth wall and appealed to us, the people, presenting Pontius Pilot as a victim of his time. Venny Carranza as Herod was fiercely entertaining- his face, his movements and posture, his voice were perfect for the song and dance routine. Andrew Diego singing the lows as Caiaphas and Michelle Holmes singing the highs as Annas teamed up as the bad guys-snarling and mean. Blair Grotbeck as Peter had a just moment in the limelight and he shined- another fine voice and impeccable performance.
Wonderful choreography by Angela Todaro, daring costume design by Lauren Oppelt with wigs and make-up by Karen Sanchez, coupled with an artistic and functional set design by John Iacovelli, scintillating lighting design by Christina Schwinn and sound design by Julie Ferrin -which only added to the magic- all made for a terrific and unforgettable show. However, it was the energy and performance of the chorus that brought the show magically and brilliantly over the top. Every performer was a star. And if that wasn't enough, Chris Raymond, directing the band with passion and energy in the upper left hand corner, was quite entertaining to watch as well.
The first act was one of the fastest first acts I've ever experienced in musical theatre. The second act was dramatically uncomfortable and unforgettable and broken up with an hysterical song and dance routine by Herod (Venny Carranza) and ensemble. The reality of the 39 lashes and the crucifixion was pushed to the limits of a stage production. Again the fourth wall was broken and the audience was encouraged to sing along withSuperstar. The show was over too soon and as the song said, "
Could We Start Again Please?"
The only, absolutely only negative for me was the audience size. I wanted the thunderous applause to be bigger because every number so deserved it. A standing ovation was in order and given.
I highly recommend this show- it's a must see. It's a short run so get your tickets HERE. Thru April 19 at the Met, 1089 North Oxford, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Doma Theatre Company http://rd2.domatheatre.com/