We’ve all heard of baby ducks imprinting on another animal and believing it’s their mother. And there’s a popular theory about “beauty maps”, the psychological perception of beauty impressed upon an infant by its earliest caretakers.Which may explain why I so dislike this DVD. I bought the Andrew Lloyd Webber “Broadway Favorites Collection” — Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and an old favorite, Jesus Christ Superstar. But it is a staged version, not the Jewison film I grew up with. And I guess I imprinted on the film version. The film isn’t perfect, I’ve never thought it was. This, though… I enjoyed Renee Castle’s Mary Magdalene. Jerome Pradon’s acting of Judas was intriguing; his singing was erratic. The guy who played Simon Zealot, though unnamed on the Cast portion of the DVD, did a great job with his song. Glenn Carter, however, is not Jesus and Fred Johanson is not Pilate. The acting and singing of those two ruined the performance for me. (Though the Star Wars-inspired costuming and the weak performances of Caiaphas and his council contributed as well…) Most of the song renditions might as well have had subtitles proclaiming “We really want to be sure you know this is not the movie version” – songs were not so much interpreted differently as merely altered purely for the sake of difference, and quite incongruously. But the worst flaw, the unredeemable weakness, is that nobody would have followed that Jesus, and thus the entire story becomes implausible.
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