July 12, 2021: Fifty years ago today — on July 12, 1971 — the first authorized U.S. performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was held at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. It was a concert tour leading up to the show's October launch on Broadway.
Two days later, the show came to Asbury Park, New Jersey, where I was fortunate to be in the audience. A review of that show called it “a fascinating and beautiful piece of music and ideas.”
The reviewer added, “It will be interesting to see what the Broadway version is like. Doesn’t seem as if it could beat this one.”
The concert tour followed the October 1970 release of a concept album. The album topped the Billboard Charts early in 1971.
The original Broadway show debuted on October 12, 1971, and had 711 performances before closing in July 1973.
Since then, the franchise has included a 1973 movie along with other Broadway productions.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is a political analyst, author, public speaker, independent public opinion pollster and columnist for Creators Syndicate. Read Scott Rasmussen's Reports — More Here.
- Asbury Park Press, "'Jesus Christ—Superstar' Staged by Touring Troupe," July 15, 1971
- History.com, "Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber release Jesus Christ Superstar concept album," accessed July 9, 2021
- Internet Broadway Database, "Jesus Christ Superstar," accessed July 9, 2021
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