Even though it’s hard to pick a very favorite musical of all time, I can say without a doubt that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice’s 1970s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, is in the top three. So when PA Nicole sent me an email about going to see Peaches performing Jesus Christ Superstar at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, “Um, YES!” was my response to her. And on a chilly Sunday evening in December we were witness to a completely riveting performance in which Peaches fulfilled one of her teenage fantasies by performing a one-woman version of the show. She channeled all of the primary characters (affecting a distinctive persona for each) with a score that was slightly shortened, modified for one person, and adjusted to fit her vocal range. You can read the NY Times coverage here.
The performance was a collaboration with Peaches’ long-time musical partner, Chilly Gonzales, who adapted the score for her. You might know Gonzales from his collaborations with Feist, his recent piano battle with Andrew W.K., his world record for longest solo piano performance ever (clocking in at 27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds–while wearing pajamas), or from his own work (including this iPad commercial you’ve probably seen a trillion times). Chilly, Feist, and Peaches are all old-school Canadian homies that have collaborated many times over the years. Peaches originated this adaptation with a 10 performance run in Berlin, Germany. It was so successful in that she brought it over for a short U.S. and Canadian tour, and I am secretly hoping that she will end up bringing it back on a larger scale some day.
If you aren’t familiar with Jesus Christ Superstar, perhaps this video from the 1973 movie of the musical will whet your appetite.
JC Superstar is a musical that I could listen to hundreds of times and never get sick of. Having Peaches put her spin on it just made it even more fun to listen to. Now I can imagine the irony and hilarity of the Peaches rendition of the sultry Mary Magdalene (“I’ve had so many men before in very many ways; he’s just one more”) and her jazzy Judas.
If it’s not clear to my friends and family that I am in the midst of a Broadway musical love fest that covers both my childhood favorites and new shows as well, consider this the *official* announcement. Luckily PA Nicole and PA Kiki are feeling the vibrations as well. Broadway Club for president in 2011!