Jesus Christ Superstar, Female Apostles and the 1%

 

Jesus Netherlands

In honor of Good Friday, I am paying tribute to my favorite rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar!  Fresh out of The Netherlands comes this timely and creative interpretation, featuring female Disciples, a very young Jesus and a Roman government which is akin to Wall Street elites.  A lot of effort went into it — careful casting and two years rehearsal.  The play was first performed in 2016 at Candea College in Duiven.  The cast includes Tijmen Steg as Jesus, Don Voogt as Judas and Anne Baars as Mary Magdalene.

In the house of Lazarus, Mary  tries to anoint Jesus with precious oil, only to be reprimanded by Judas Iscariot.  “Woman, your fine ointment, brand new and expensive, could have been saved for the poor. Why has it been wasted? We could have raised maybe, three hundred silver pieces or more.”

Jesus, looking at the big picture and knowing he is not long for this world, answers: “Surely you’re not saying we have the resources to save the poor from their lot? There will be poor always, pathetically struggling; look at the good things you’ve got.”

(For more on Jesus’ anointing see my previous post Lazarus and the Pink Moon)

These very talented performers may come as a bit of a juxtapose and surprise.  I think they are fantastic!  Hope you enjoy it and have a happy Good Friday 🙂

Here, Anne Baars as Magdalene performs the ballad “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”.

Intrigued? Watch the whole opera here: (Running time about 1 hour 30 minutes.)

 

 

Happy Birthday George Harrison!

 

george-harrison

He was the youngest of the Beatles, reportedly ‘the quietest’ and also perhaps the most spiritual.

George Harrison was born on February 25, 1943 to working class parents in Liverpool England. He was the baby brother of three siblings. According to legend, he fell in love with rock & roll after hearing Elvis Presley’s song ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ playing from a neighbor’s window. In 1958, at the tender age of fifteen, George auditioned for a band called The Quarrymen, led by two lads named John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Because he was so young, John thought it best he not join the band, but George wormed his way in, hanging around rehearsals and making himself so available they could not refuse him. That band, of course, was eventually renamed The Beatles. George’s age came back to haunt him when the Beatles played their first gigs in Hamburg. George was too young to legally work in Germany and got deported back to England. He rejoined the band after his eighteenth birthday and the rest is history!

beatles-in-hamburg-1962

Raised as a Roman Catholic, George sent himself on a spiritual search that lasted his entire lifetime.  As the excesses of materialism and the rock & roll lifestyle mounted, George became desperate to fill the hole of the soul with more substantial things. He explored Hinduism, Buddhism and transcendental meditation. He, along with the other band members,  traveled to Rishikesh India and studied under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

rishikesh-the-beatles

George also became interested in Indian music and culture. He learned to play the sitar under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar.  This influence changed his western perspective and reshaped his life.

George Harrison died of lung cancer on November 29, 2001.  His last words on his death bed were “Love one another.”

Ironically, whatever afterlife George found himself in, he still lives on in this physical world. The astronomer Brian A. Skiff, working out of the Anderson Mesa Station, located in the arid fields of Flagstaff Arizona, happened to discover an asteroid. He named that asteroid after George, the 4149 Harrison!

This interview, recorded in 1997 for VH1 was George’s last public appearance. He speaks wise words of life, death and spirituality.

 

Give Me Love – a song that I feel must sum up George’s philosophy. Hope you like it!

 

 

 

The Man Who Fell to Earth

 

bowie 1

On February 10th, 1972, David Bowie made his first appearance as Ziggy Stardust, a title and persona which would lead him to enormous stardom.

david-bowie-ziggy-stardyust

Rock and roll could not help but take notice of  this peculiar, other wordly being as he graced the stage of the Toby Jug Pub in London. He was anorexic-thin with neon orange hair and a not sure if you’re a boy or a girl androgyny.  His chiseled face of porcelain white was painted with magenta rouge eye shadow. His costumes were lush, vivid prints, bell sleeves and satin sashes.  A shimmering silver circle, which some may have recognized as an instrument of telepathic communication, was etched on his forehead.  It all signified a connection to the planet — Mars or Wherever? —  and an allegiance with the mystified black holes of the universe.

Thus began a moon age daydream lasting all the way to his death in 2016. Oh David, we miss you! This video captures some great Ziggy moments. Hope you like it!

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Day/ U2

 

new-year-4

Hard to believe it has been thirty-three years since Bono & company penned this song for their 1983 album ‘War’.  Although it was originally written for Lech Walesa and the Polish Solidarity movement, I find a lot of relevance in this song as applied to the issues of today.

I have always loved U2.  Once upon a time several years ago I was lucky enough to meet Bono and The Edge at a loading dock in Chicago. They were both very kind and considerate gentlemen, worthy of their super-power status!

In honor of U2, the New Year and my feelings about the current state of the world, I put together this (bittersweet —  but mostly optimistic) video.

Hope you are having a fantastic New Year’s Day!