Historical Context

(Drama for Students)

The Biblical Story of Jesus
The story as told in the play Jesus Christ Superstar follows fairly closely what is...

(The entire section is 517 words.)

Literary Style

(Drama for Students)

Rock Opera
Tommy (1969), hailed as the world’s first rock opera, broke with the tradition...

(The entire section is 780 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Drama for Students)

Duncan, David Douglas. "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Life, Vol. 70, no. 20, May 28, 1971, pp....

(The entire section is 260 words.)


(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. Holy Blood, Holy Grail. New York: Dell, 1983. This well-researched book considers the possibility that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and actually escaped with her to France.

Barnes, Clive. “Review of Jesus Christ Superstar.” The New York Times, October 13, 1971, p. 40. This, the original review of the stage production, attacks and rejects several aspects of the opera.

Coveny, Michael. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Story. New York: Arrow, 2003. A study of the work of Webber, including an excellent discussion of how he came to compose Jesus Christ Superstar.

Nassor, Ellis. Rock Opera: The Creation of “Jesus Christ Superstar” from Record Album to Broadway Show to Motion Picture. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973. A full discussion of the creation and development of the rock opera, with consideration of the thematic issues.

Rice, Tim. Oh, What a Circus: The Autobiography. Philadelphia: Coronet Books, 1999. The autobiography of Tim Rice, with considerable attention to Jesus Christ Superstar.

Snelson, John. Andrew Lloyd Webber. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004. An excellent overall study of the great composer with a strong discussion of Jesus Christ Superstar as an important innovative piece.

Compare and Contrast

(Drama for Students)

Time of Christ: Jesus was a rabbi with a devout following, but he did not himself promote the idea of...

(The entire section is 462 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

How does the character of Jesus Christ respond to and reflect values prevalent in the 1970s when the rock opera was produced? How does this...

(The entire section is 124 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Drama for Students)

A re-mastered version of the original cast recording is available from MCA Records, as is the original soundtrack from the film Jesus...

(The entire section is 105 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Drama for Students)

Stephen Schwartzs’s Godspell, first performed in 1971 and made into a movie in 1973, is a more light-hearted musical version of...

(The entire section is 207 words.)