Jesus Christ Superstar | No Exit Cafe | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Jesus Christ Superstar The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 17 2015

Music director Jeremy Ramey takes all sorts of funky, inspired orchestral liberties in this production for Theo Ubique, which posits Christ as a scruffy, frightened idealist at the center of a movement beyond his control. Though this 1970 rock passion play is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's earliest collaborations, it easily holds up musically; entire stretches of "Hosanna" and "Everything's Alright" sound like they could have been ripped from one of the more theatrical albums by U2 or Arcade Fire. That goes well utilized in Fred Anzevino's inventive staging, but besides a four-person pit, it's not as pared down for the packed cabaret space as you might think. Seen at such close quarters, some of the pantomime and spoken-word bits seem goofy, but no matter—the voices here are raw and arresting, and it's impossible not to get swept up in all the goose-bump-inducing rapture. —Dan Jakes

Price: $34-$68

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