Synopsis

Act One

Judas starts to worry about Jesus (“Heaven on Their Minds”). He doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God as many others believe, and he is afraid that if Jesus gets too loud, he will draw attention from the Romans, who will then crush him and the apostles. That Friday night in Bethany, the apostles ask Jesus about his plans for the future (“What’s the Buzz?”).

While the apostles pester Jesus, Mary Magdalene comforts him by rubbing his feet and hair in oil. Judas arrives and asks Jesus what he is doing with a woman of Mary Magdalene’s reputation (“Strange Thing Mystifying”). Jesus tells Judas not to throw stones unless his own slate is clean. Mary Magdalene tries to calm Jesus down (“Everything’s Alright”) and soothes him, telling him not to worry. Judas, meanwhile, asks Jesus why good money was used on expensive ointments instead of the poor. Jesus replies that the poor can’t be helped and alludes to his own death, saying that they’ll be lost when he’s gone.

The following Sunday in the temple in Jerusalem, High Priest Caiaphas confers with other priests, discussing what to do about Jesus. They conclude that the only way to stop “Jesus-mania” is to execute him (“This Jesus Must Die”).

When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, the crowd is ecstatic (“Hosanna”). Simon tries to persuade Jesus that he can sway the people of Jerusalem to arm against Rome (“Simon Zealotes”). Jesus answers that no one understands what true power or glory is, and that to conquer death, one must die (“Poor Jerusalem”).

The next day, Pontius Pilate dreams about his role in Jesus’ death (“Pilate’s Dream”).

Jesus arrives at the temple in Jerusalem to find it a haven for moneylenders, merchants and other ne’er-do-wells. He chases them out in anger (“The Temple”). He is then surrounded by lepers and the poor, who beg to be healed, and Jesus yells at them to heal themselves.

Mary Magdalene tries to comfort him again, and, after Jesus is asleep, she tries to decide how to deal with her love for him (“I Don’t Know How to Love Him”).

Judas goes to talk with Caiaphas (“Damned for All Time”) and tells the priests where to find Jesus on Thursday night (“Blood Money”).

Act Two

On Thursday night in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is performing the Last Supper (“The Last Supper”). The apostles discuss how they’re glad to be where they are now, while Jesus suffers from doubt. He announces that Peter will deny him and another of his 12 chosen will betray him.

Judas leaves, and the other apostles go to sleep. Jesus stays awake and prays (“Gethsemane”). He wants to know why he must die and go through with his Father’s plan.

Judas arrives and betrays Jesus with a kiss (“The Arrest”).

Caiaphas asks if Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus answers that he that is what others say he is. Peter denies he ever knew Jesus to three people (“Peter’s Denial”). Jesus is taken to Pilate, who sends him off to Herod, since Jesus comes from Galilee and is therefore not under Pilate’s jurisdiction (“Pilate and Christ”).

King Herod asks Jesus to perform miracles to prove that he is the Son of God; if he does, Herod will release him (“King Herod’s Song”). Jesus refuses, and he is sent back to Pilate.

Meanwhile Mary, supported by Peter, wishes none of this ever happened (“Could We Start Again Please?”).

Back in the temple, Judas sees the bruised and beaten Jesus and wonders how he could have done such a thing to Jesus. He hangs himself, saying that Jesus has murdered him.

Pilate tries to help Jesus and attempts to sate the crowd’s cry for crucifixion with 39 lashes (“Trial Before Pilate”). But the crowd still clamours for Jesus’ death, and he is sent to be crucified.

The voice of Judas is heard still questioning Jesus (“Superstar”). He wonders why Jesus chose the particular time and place that he did, and why he chose to sacrifice himself for others.

Jesus is nailed to the cross (“The Crucifixion”). He dies and his body is then given to the two Marys for burial (“John 19:41”).

During the Curtain Call, we see Jesus is risen.

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