Quotidiano online. Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Milano n. 249 del 21/11/2019

lunedì 22 dicembre 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar Ted Neeley: la recensione di Silvia Arosio, in inglese (ed il servizio tv)

Siamo international, in questi giorni natalizi.

Ricordandovi che, comunque, sul lato destro di questa pagina troverete un link al Google Traduttore, per leggere i miei articoli in tutte le lingue (va bene, non perfettamente!), oggi vi propongo la mia recensione al musical cult Jesus Christ Superstar  (con Ted Neeley, Yvonne Elliman e Barry Dennen), diretto da Massimo RomeoPiparo che è ancora in tour in Italia.

La traduzione è stata fatta da Giada Bottoni e postata, a suo tempo, sul facebook di Ted Neeley: grazie, Giada!

 "As always, theatre shows have been the celebration of a collective rite. Audience on one side, actors on the other: breaths and emotions are blended, when a story is told and feelings are shared. Some shows are all of this, more than others, and this happens when people on-stage cease being ordinary actors and enter the Olympus of myths. Today's stage performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, 40 years after the celebrated movie by Norman Jewison, features a trio of legends from the original cast of that great cinematographic success of 1973: Ted Neeley, Yvonne Elliman, and Barry Dennen. The show, directed by Massimo Romeo Piparo, is thus even more a ritual celebration, and to be part of this event is an honor and a privilege. This rock opera back in its days caused scandal, already before the movie came out (trivia: prior to the movie, Jesus Christ Superstar was also popular as an LP, with songs performed by Ian Gillan, Deep Purple's frontman), when some religious extremists protested outside the theatre on Broadway. A copy of the movie was sent, in advance, to Pope Paul VI, who liked it and judged it positively. After that, the movie was shown, and still is today, in churches and parishes also.

Every night at Arcimboldi theatre, a thrilled audience goes from cheering and rising to applaud to experiencing almost "religious" moments (before "Gethsemane" the silence was so noticeable that, sitting in the fifth row, I distinctly heard the wooden stage creaking under Ted Neeley's steps): the respect for the play and the actors is reverential.

The three historical protagonists have not lost sheen, after 40 years. Ted Neeley began acting in 1971, and he did not always play Jesus: he was also cast in shows such as "Hair," "Tommy," and "Sgt. Peppers;" yet, it was thanks to the movie, and his role as the titular character, that he achieved his best recognition. The character of Jesus fits him perfectly, not only in the look, but also in the extraordinary humility that he reveals on and off stage. The voice is the same as the movie: it has not lost any tone and it ranges from low to high notes, without resorting to falsetto. In "Gethsemane," where Jesus asks God questions concerning all of us, the audience in the first rows may be under the impression that Ted Neeley watches each and everyone of them in the eyes, even though his look is often pointed upwards. Barry Dennen is, again, an amazing Pontius Pilate, whose expressivity and body power makes him a giant on stage. Yvonne Elliman gives us a Magdalene that adds the sweet youth of the movie to the almost maternal maturity. Massimo Romeo Piparo has been able to combine these extraordinary performers to a brand-new cast: every night, in the eyes of all other performers, the emotion of sharing the stage with the three myths can be sensed.

I would mention, among all, Paride Acacia, already playing Hannas in a previous version with Carl Anderson (and Jesus for a season) and Francesco Mastroianni as Caiaphas; the remarkably energetic Emiliano Geppetti (Simon, but I would see him well also as Judas), who draws attention whatever his role; a very young Riccardo Sinisi (Peter), and, in yesterday evening’s show, the histrionic Cristian Ruiz as Herod. Herod's scene has always been very "free" in the various versions of Jesus Christ Superstar, and Piparo wanted to interpret it as an a homage to Italian commedia dell'arte. A special mention goes to the young Feysal Bonciani in the role of Judas, physically similar to Carl Anderson, in a very difficult role, because of both the famous predecessors cast as this character, and the different age compared to the other actors: he offers a great performance, interesting stage presence and voice range. He is to be kept an eye on for the future. In the enthralling finale, Judas arrives into the theatre from the foyer, and as always he is projected on the mega screen: he is followed by Jesus, and the two of them walk through the theatre, praised by the standing up audience. Piparo, who directed four different versions before this one, gives us an unforgettable version of "Jesus," enriched by LED projections (where Gospel verses are shown, to underline the English passages), trap-doors, stilts, fires, and excellent lights; an ensemble of twenty-four among acrobats, stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, and dancers, choreographed by Roberto Croce; Giancarlo Muselli's scenic designs, stylized halfway between the classic and the post-modern, and elaborated by Teresa Caruso; the hippie costumes by Cecilia Betona; and an extraordinary live orchestra, with twelve elements lead by director Emanuele Friello.

Press and audiences agree on the quality of this musical, as they rarely do. I won’t even tell you not to miss it: You decide!"


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