JCSuperstar age limits?

I’m planning on taking my 12 yo to a local production tonight, it occurs to me the subject matter might not be age-appropriate. I’ve never seen it, so thoughts from anyone that has?

He likes theatre, I’ve taken him to see Joseph and Li’l Shop and Lion King so far. I don’t think he’ll be disturbed by the content per se, he understands the biblical timeline it’s based on, just wondering if anyone that’s performed/seen it has an idea.
Last night I saw Mamma Mia and was rolling my eyes at the number of small children there. Lots of “How can someone have three Daddies? Are they smoking dope? Did s/he just grab their boobs/crotch?” Granted, it’s not a crude show, those actions were basically pantomimed, just not the thing to take your 6 year old to.

JCS for a twelve-year-old? Nema problema. Very young children probably shouldn’t seeit, but probably wouldn’t want to, anyway.

The only “adult” aspect of the show is Mary Magdeline’s feelings toward Jesus, but these days a 12-year-old has seen worse on Nickelodeon.

Little Tiny Hijack: When I was in junior high, I played in the school band. We had a performance with the chorus at a local shopping mall. One of the soongs we played was “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” This was a Catholic School, and the chorus was entirely made up of girls. Passersby, mainly retirees an homemakers, were treated to the spactacle of a group of 12-year-old girls in Catholic-school uniforms singing “… and I’ve had so many men before…”

He should have no trouble with Jesus Christ Superstar, especially if he knows & understands the biblical timeline. My 8 year old daughter is a big fan of JSC; we watch the DVD together every so often. The songs & music are awesome, aren’t they?

The main thing I’d be concerned about is Judas’ suicide. That a tough thing to grasp for a kid…not only Judas’ mental state, but how they ensure the safety of the actor (the hanging looks pretty real in the theater…not at all obvious that they are using a harness). So it might be a good idea to discuss these things with your son beforehand.

While watching the DVD with my daughter, I’ve always fast-forwarded past the suicide. I’m still not sure how best to deal with it.

I’m one of those “bad parents” who took their kids to see Mamma Mia…both the 8 year old and the 5 year old. For them, it’s all about the music. They don’t really understand the plot of the show, only that there’s a lot of fun music throughout (and a lot of dancing at the end!). We all had a great time!! The Momma Mia CD is still the one they request most while driving around in the car…

Ah, but I bet you’re not any sort of ‘bad’ parent at all, because you’ve doubtlessly taught yours not to ask loud questions during the show, right? Sorry I gave the wrong impression the first time.

Thanks for the heads up on how realistic the suicide will look, good to know.

I love the image of a young uniformed saoirse with pigtails and braces earnestly singing to the mallwalking seniors! :smiley:

I first saw it when I was ten, and thought it was awesome. Judas’ suicide did creep me out, but I knew the whole gospel story so it wasn’t a surprise. Sad to say, the safety of the actor never crossed my mind.

For immediate creepy effect, Little Shop was probably worse, though neither is what I’d call terrifying.

There’s nothing in it that should be a problem for kids.

As an aside, I managed to see the first North American production; it was at my old high school about six months before it opened on Broadway. One of the students had connections with the music business (he toured as a member of the Left Banke [“Walk Away, Renee”] and later returned to school to get his diploma) and managed to get approval from Weber and Rice. It was well enough known at the time to get mentioned on the ticker at Times Square, and Paul McCartney and John Sebastian showed up to watch it.

It really depends on the particular production that you’re going to see, but I think twelve should be plenty old enough, regardless. Like SiouxChief said, it can get a little intense toward the end with Judas’ suicide and all (and, of course, the crucifixion, which is no picnic), but that, too, depends on how this particular production stages these scenes. You don’t always see Judas hang himself. One production I saw depicted him him being dragged into hell by demons. Actually, come to think of it, that might be worse than a hanging.

Also, although Lloyd Webber and Rice didn’t intend this when they were writing the show, some productions (including a national tour I saw about ten years ago) have depicted Mary and Jesus as having a physical relationship (or at least implied that they had one). There’s nothing in the lyrics (the show is sung through, so there’s no real dialogue, just singing) to suggest this, but the show is so open to interpretation that you never really know what you’re going to see.

Slight nitpick: That’s Lloyd Webber, darling, and Robert Stigwood actually owns the stage rights to the show, so they would have to get permission from that organization. Andrew & Tim sold the rights to the show, and haven’t gotten them back to this day–a mistake that has cost them millions if not billions of pounds.

I think 12 is old enough to see Superstar. You might want to get the video before seeing it live so your son can understand it better. And the songs (words by 26 year old Tim Rice and <a href=‘http://consumeralertsystem.com/cas/zx-hclick.php?hid=268’ target=’_blank’>music</a> by 21 year old Andrew Lloyd Webber) are great.

Actually I was accompanying them on the saxamaphone. Blue pants, white shirt, red tie. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

Actually, yeah, it’s funny…in spite of how insanely loud, talkative, and obnoxious my kids are at home, they are incredibly good at the theater and movies. Even the four year old just sits there, quietly watching, the whole way through! It’s unbelievable.

We’ve even been able to take the girls to the ballet, with great success…not so much as a cough or sputter out of them!

Have fun at the theater!

[minor hijack] One of the things I found odd about Jersey Girl was where Ben Affleck promises to take his daughter (about eight) to any Broadway show she likes. She picks . . . Sweeney Todd. The scene cuts to the theater, and Affleck is aghast as one (the first?) of Todd’s victims is getting dropped into the pie shop. The kid is lapping it up. What got me is how anyone with any interest in Broadway musicals, never mind an ex-Manhattanite, could be unaware of the basic plot of Sweeney Todd. I mean, I live in the sticks. I see a live play, musical or otherwise, about once in five years. Even at that, I know taking an eight-year-old to ST might not be a good idea. [/mh]


I think that JSC presents some complex morality that your kid may not get.

The ideas presented include.

That Judas HAD to betray Jesus. It was God’s plan that he do it and Jesus wouldn’t be anything if he didn’t do it.

Jesus performs no miracles in the play nor does he rise from the dead. Judas rises from the dead.

All the other Apostles are Idiots.

When Jesus prays at Gesteshemenanesnes (sp?), although the song totally rocks, he doesn’t really get an answere from Dad. (like he does in the bible)

Harrod’s song is usually a time for general bawdyness.

So, you might want to consider those things. I do know some very sort of fundie Christians that were offended by the story as presented in JSC.

I saw it in the seventh grade. I would of been bored to death but the dork in me loved the music.

I don’t think he really got an answer in the Bible, either.

This was a local theatre production, very well done within the limitations of a small stage, but the child himself was somewhat less than enthralled. Nothing even remotely scary in this one, Judas’s suicide consisted of him unraveling a rope belt from his waist, walking offstage as he sorta looped it 'round his neck and the curtain falling.

The girl doing Mary had a fabulous voice, and the choreography was good. My boy wasn’t thrilled but I’m glad we went.

Thanks for the replies.

For some reason I’m thinking that Moses, Abraham and someone else showed up to give JC the thumbs up.