For Holy Week (the week in the Christian cycle leading up to Easter Sunday), I posted songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar on Facebook, one video a day. It started as a whim, but it quickly became a kind of religious practice.
I first saw Superstar about 5 years ago, a local production in which a dear friend played Mary Magdalene. I was moved, in an indescribable way. I engaged with all my body and soul with the messy, human struggle between Jesus, Judas and Pharisees. By the end I was bawling like a baby. After the show, the actor playing Jesus found me and hugged me. I didn’t know what it “meant”, but I knew I’d been given a gift, and I felt utterly grateful to Molly, my friend, and her fellow players.
Every now and then I listen to the soundtrack, or play the 1973 film version. I mainly do it to remember the sense memory of that night with Molly and crew, which will always be the “real” Superstar for me.
This time, though, I resolved to pay closer attention to what Superstar was saying to me. Just like pasttimes when “Reading the Signs” has been enlightening, I learned something vital about myself.
The message that Superstar screamed at me through all the songs I posted: human connection is tragically, excruciatingly hard. Our broken, separate-ness sometimes alienates us in spite of every intention to connect, to trust, to love.