Arab Today, arab today original jesus ted neeley brings \superstar\ to rome
Last Updated : GMT 23:42:03
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Original Jesus Ted Neeley brings \'Superstar\' to Rome

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Original Jesus Ted Neeley brings \'Superstar\' to Rome

Rome - AFP

Ted Neeley, the original lead in "Jesus Christ Superstar", is back four decades on as the son of God in the hit musical in Rome, and hopes Pope Francis will be in the audience. The pontiff will be "just down the street and we're hoping he's going to come visit us and see the show. I think he's a wonderful, wonderful man," an enthusiastic 70-year-old Neely told AFP between rehearsals of the world-famous rock opera. The Texan musician and actor has appeared in other works, including Quentin Tarantino's 2013 film "Django Unchained", but his heart still lies in the role of 33-year-old Christ, which "gets better and better each time", he said. The 1973 film was controversial with Catholic groups, but even before pope Paul VI watched and blessed it, Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's catchy melodies and lyrics had won a wide following -- as had blue-eyed, fair-haired Neeley. "So many people saw the film as children when it came out in the '70s, and watch it every year at Easter time and Christmas time, that they tell me when they think of Jesus they see my face!" Neeley says with a grin. "I'm not Jesus, I'm a rock-and-roll drummer who screams high notes for a living," he adds, belting out a long high note to prove his point. The director of the Italian production, Massimo Romeo Piparo, said Good Friday had been chosen for opening night because "it's an ideal show for Easter because it brings together lay people and Catholics." Piparo said he was honoured to have got Neeley on board for a production which marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the film in Italy. "I wanted to do something memorable. Neeley accepted with enthusiasm and has made this production really important," he said, adding that German and Dutch tourists have already booked tickets to come to Rome for the show. - 'Still hippy at heart' - While Neeley no longer captures the youthful energy and sexuality of the original Christ character, his performance is given added depth by his maturity and a greater sense of the suffering the Biblical son of God faced. As dancers in '70s-style outfits sporting flower motifs and flares backflip across the stage and pop out of coloured boxes, a bearded Neeley in his beige robes emits an extraordinary sense of peace, often placing his hands together in prayer even off stage. Flicking back his thinning, shoulder-length hair, Neeley admits he still feels "like a hippy at heart". He won his original part as Jesus in the 1971 Broadway show after playing the lead role in a 1969 production of "Hair" -- an irreverent anthem for the revolutionary 1960s -- and says the two musicals are entwined for him. Over the decades, he has done some 5,000 performances as Jesus, with one production which had been tapped to run for three months going on for five years. "I got lucky. I got asked to do this role, and it's the most wonderful blessing of my life," he says, explaining that he met his wife, dancer Leeyan Granger, in one of the productions. He had two children with her. Neeley, a practising Baptist who had a spiritual upbringing -- leading Bible readings for children at just nine years old -- said the show's appeal is its ability to speak across generations. "It's a wonderful piece. Children love it, they learn the story, they adore the melodies," he said. "We are all connected to this spirituality, it is magical."

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today original jesus ted neeley brings \superstar\ to rome Arab Today, arab today original jesus ted neeley brings \superstar\ to rome

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models
View News in Arabic - Culture: تمثيل
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday