I grew up on the West End; I was dragged from show to show but the man whose music still has me tuned in today is that of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I still believe Sunset Blvd is his best yet but unlike other folks in the industry Andrew Lloyd Webber has used Universal Pictures to tap into the audience that has a thirst for musical theatre and keeping that moment in time alive by recording it for DVD and Blu-ray.
Of course getting the rights to record your own works within theatres on the West End and Broadway is plagued with legal issues which is why it isn't often done. The cost theatres place on productions who want to record their works is phenomenal which is why productions close sometimes without even releasing an official cast recording meaning the memory is all you have. Which is probably why fans are recording shows themselves and trading them as bootlegs.
The industry that is musical theatre is going strong and for me, I think it'd be a lot stronger if they did release a lot more on DVD/Blu-ray when a show comes to a close or maybe even a limited release of live digital MP3's when a cast changes. I would love to relive the amazing performances of Betty Buckley, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball etc in various shows and share them with a new generation but the thought is; if you record shows people won't come to see them when the 'revival' comes around.
However, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Universal Pictures are working their way around that with concert editions of some of his biggest and best.... Sunset Blvd next please!
The Phantom Of The Opera Anniversary concert is a must watch on Blu-ray as is the Australian Production of Love Never Dies (Which will transfer to a UK National Tour in 2013). They were a commercial success and it was pretty obvious from the get go that Jesus Christ Superstar (2012) would end up going the same route. The only thing I wish they'd done with this release was spend a little more time in truly making a mark by recording the Broadway production which closed its doors on July 1st 2012.
The Musical theatre is all about memories and whilst I love Melanie C, I'm a little anxious to see two personalities I don't really like star in an Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical. That and Ben Foster for me wasn't the winner of the ITV talent show which set out to find Jesus for this arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, I was a Rory fan from start to finish!
I would have loved a double disk edition of The Arena Tour and the Broadway production but unfortunately it's not meant to be and whatever Universal Pictures throw at us with this disk will be remarkable, the transfers on their previous Andrew Lloyd Webber productions have been A+!
The Press release is below and it's bad news for residents in the US as there is no news on a domestic release just yet but in addition to that the planned Cinema dates of 29th October and 1st November have been canceled by Fathom Events due to 'Circumstances beyond reasonable control', for more information check out this link on how to get a refund.
Following a triumphant opening weekend at London’s 02 Arena, Universal Pictures are delighted to announce that the 21st century re-invention of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” will be filmed on 4th and 5th October before releasing on DVD, and Blu-ray™ on November 19, 2012.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I have waited 42 years for Jesus Christ Superstar to play arenas in the UK, and it is great to finally see the show as it was originally intended, as an arena rock opera. I’m thrilled that Universal will be filming the new arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar for DVD and Blu-ray, which allows us to capture this amazing production and share it with the world!”
The 21-date arena tour, the first ever in the UK, features a star-studded line-up which includes award-winning musical comedian Tim Minchin – also the co-writer of West End smash musical Matilda – in the role of ‘Judas Iscariot’; pop icon and former Spice Girl Melanie C as ‘Mary Magdalene’; radio DJ Chris Moyles in his stage debut as ‘King Herod’; and the winner of the UK’s primetime ITV show ‘Superstar’, Ben Forster, who was chosen by the British public to take on the title role of ‘Jesus’.
An award-winning creative team has been assembled to transform this legendary rock musical into a unique, contemporary, state-of-the-art spectacular. Director Laurence Connor, known for his work on the 25th anniversary performances and concerts for Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, works alongside Mark Fisher, the acclaimed world-leading set designer responsible for the staging of the Diamond Jubilee music concert in front of Buckingham Palace, and Patrick Woodroffe who worked on the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, to create a conceptual masterpiece.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” is a worldwide phenomenon, portraying the story of the last seven days of Christ leading up to his crucifixion as seen through the eyes of ‘Judas Iscariot’, and featuring hit songs such as ‘Superstar’, ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’, ‘Heaven On Their Minds’ and ‘Hosanna’. Over 40 different cast recordings have been released in 19 different languages.
The first production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was a US arena tour in 1971. It then debuted on Broadway, and, in 1972, UK fans finally got their chance to see this landmark show when it arrived at London’s Palace Theatre – its run of eight years and over 3,000 performances smashed all box office records. Since then, Jesus Christ Superstar has rarely left the stage, with professional productions in 42 countries around the world and with around 300 amateur productions officially licensed each year.
The DVD and Blu-ray™ of “Jesus Christ Superstar” is released just in time for Christmas on 19th November 2012.
Melanie C's new album STAGES featuring "I Don't Know How To Loves Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar is available to buy now.