my friend ica just returned my jesus christ superstar dvd after a long time. we popped it on luna and watched ted neeley and carl anderson run away with probably the best performance of their lives. after discussing their singing on the movie, we decided to google up what they have been doing and found out ted neely is still doing jcs on tour. we ran up the video on youtube and well, im a bit perplexed on what we found. im not entirely sure i liked what i saw.
ted neely in the 2008 tour of jesus christ superstar
neeley still got most of the power to belt out gethsemane but first of all, he’s a 62-year-old actor playing 30-year old jesus christ. and it’s not like he’s just anybody. for me, nobody else could play JC except him. i even actually hated the JCS 2000 video with glenn carter. but 1978’s JCS became ted’s claim to fame and unfortunately he’s pigeonholed into the role, it seems he couldnt do anything else. he’s already yelling through most of his high notes badly, i actually wished he’d do something else. i dunno, im not all that sold out to his performances on tour.
carl anderson actually did better. before anderson died, he only agreed to tour with JCS if ted neeley was performing with him. he died feb 23 2004.
carl anderson singing heaven on their minds in a ventura concert in 1997
to me it’s a bit the same with jennifer holiday who was largely identified with the killer song “and im telling you im not going” from dreamgirls the musical. her performance during the tony awards in 1982 on youtube is fantastic, for lack of a better term.
jennifer holiday at the tony awards in 1982
however, i believe she’s done nothing else but sing that song throughout the years. and although she can still belt it out, it’s nowhere magical as she did it when she first did the role. nowadays her singing is more growling and she’s just plain scarier. ( jennifer hudson isnt any better as she cant do the song on tempo when she sings live and here she fucks up the lyrics to the song that won her an oscar). what do you think?
jennifer hudson and jennifer holiday singing together at the BET awards 2007