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50 years of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Legendary musical comes to Indy this week
Alvin Crawford performs as 'Caiaphas' in Jesus Christ Superstar
Posted at 11:44 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 12:49:23-05

Alvin Crawford has some of the biggest shows to hit the stage on his resume; 'The Lion King', 'Candide', and Miss Saigon to name a few. But 'Jesus Christ Superstar' is on another level.

"The Lion King has maybe a 20-year nostalgic quality. But this has 50 years of being at the top of its game in different iterations," Crawford said ahead of the touring production of the legendary musical arriving in Indy as part of the Broadway in Indianapolis series. "I think with our show, it is a celebration of that original "Brown Album". So, it's a celebration of that iconic music and its a dance celebration."

This production is the one-year-late edition of the 50th anniversary of 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' The tour was set to begin last winter when the pandemic shut shows - and everything else - down. But the planning actually began one year earlier on the anniversary of the album alluded to by Crawford; unlike virtually every other show, there was an album before there was a stage show. "Basically what happened was that two friends (Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice) got together in their parents' garage and put together an album," Crawford said. "It won a Grammy award that year (1970), then someone said this could be a musical."

Since premiering on the West End in London in 1971, there have been many interpretations of 'Superstar.' Crawford says if you've seen the show before, you'll see quite a bit more movement in the version that will play at Clowes Memorial Hall. "It's a real celebration of this music, and how we help tell this story is through dance and a lighting show; and extraordinary voices," said Crawford, who plays Caiaphas — the priest who says and sings that Jesus must die. "Our ensemble never stops moving."

The show was supposed to premiere Tuesday, but that performance was postponed due to travel issues caused by winter-like weather in the East. So, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' runs Wednesday through Sunday at Clowes Hall on the Butler University campus. Click here for information and to find tickets.