Wednesday, 3 June 2009

269: Fag Rock 4 - Jesus Christ Superstar

"Jesus Christ Superstar" – Herod’s Song (1973)
Directed by Norman Jewison
Script by Norman Jewison and Melvyn Bragg
Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice

And since the last post mentioned “Jesus Christ Superstar”, here’s a little something that’s pertinent to the discussion.

It’s not so much the song but the production which is stylised and comedically camp (particularly since Mostel is such a weak singer, it’s hard to get a real sense of the song, which sounds more like a 1920s jazz effort than yer actual glam rock). Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Picture Show are suffused with a decadent, camp aesthetic, so that is an intrinsic part of the material. The camp extravagance of costumes and mannerisms here (which strike me as being more turn of the decade) is only one section of this musical, and is therefore intended to be a vamp in a comic camp style. It’s a difference in intent and its framing within the work as a whole.

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