The Grand Final
The other day, I had a video here of Yvonne Elliman, who was the the first "Mary Magdalene' on the original concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as the original Broadway production and in the movie version, singing her huge hit song from the show, "I Don't Know How to Love Him." This is a follow-up to that.
As I mentioned, a tour of the rock opera had been put together in 2015 with Ted Neeley recreating his role as 'Jesus'. (He's repeated the role a few times over the years.) This production traveled throughout the the U.S. and then went to Europe, ending in The Netherlands (which was billed as Neeley's farewell in the role -- though in interviews he shrugged and said "Who knows...?") During the final three final three performances of the tour in Rotterdam, there were two special guests who came on stage after the show for some conversation and song: Elliman and Barry Dennen, who had played 'Pontius Pilate' like Elliman in all three venues: the original concept album, the first Broadway production, and the film.
These clips are from those final three performances, which was billed as The Grand Final. In fact, from the date, I'm pretty certain this is from the last one, making it the Final Grand Final. Pretty much confirming this is that in other clips I found of the event, lyricist Tim Rice who co-wrote the show with Andrew Lloyd Webber, joins them on stage, which I suspect he'd only have done in the final Final.
This first is of Barry Dennen once again singing his signature song, "Pilate's Dream." At 77, that familiar voice is still there. And just as haunting.
And then Ted Neeley, still in costume after his curtain call, joined his longtime compatriots, and 45 years after the rock opera album -- followed by the Broadway show and movie -- the three original stars sang "Could We Try Again, Please." They didn't sing it together in the show, it was basically Elliman's song, but it was an awfully appropriate ending. The chorus you hear is the full company remaining on stage -- other videos show them, and it's quite moving seeing everyone there but it's all in a long shot, and I just feel the close-up of the three far more important -- and moving. So, in the end, as I think you'll see..., this is the one to choose.
4/3/2018 06:35:43 pm
Thanks for posting those performances...incredibly moving.
4/3/2018 10:11:29 pm
Don, thanks for your note. What I find fascinating is that I haven't heard the original album in at least 30 years, and as soon as Barry Dennen started to sing, his voice was instantly recognizable. (I've heard Yvonne Elliman's recording of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" through the years, so *that* video wasn't a revelation...) Yes, hearing them all was very touching.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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