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Easter in Los Angeles 2013: Jesus Christ Superstar Benefit

Industry: Fundraising

“JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR” screens March. 28 in Six Laemmle theaters in time for Easter. 40th Anniversary of Film to Benefit Carl Anderson Scholarship Fund

Los Angelos, CA (PRUnderground) March 19th, 2013

Just in time for Easter, amidst the passion play season, the film version of the iconic and magnetic rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar,” released by Universal Pictures in 1973, will be presented simultaneously at six Laemmle Theatres throughout the Los Angeles area for one night only, Thursday, Mar. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The theatres are located in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Pasadena, North Hollywood, Encino and Claremont. Visit www.agapelive.com.

Based on the Broadway hit by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice, the musical was immortalized on film by writer/director Norman Jewison amidst controversy on many fronts for daring to update the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.

The classic and historic motion picture stars Ted Neely as Jesus and Carl Anderson as Judas. It explores the complex and conflicted relationship between the two using stirring visuals, heart-pounding music and contemporary lyrics and language. This is the 40th anniversary of the film, which was widely panned by many in the religious community and widely praised by music, arts and film critics.

The film is being presented by Agape International Spiritual Center’s Youth and Family Ministry and benefits Agape’s Carl Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund.

“We encourage 70s dress to create a nostalgic, party atmosphere at the film screenings,” said Rev. Leon Campbell, who heads the Youth and Family Ministry.

“Carl Anderson was a gifted actor and singer whose personal passion was to inspire youth in self-expression through the arts. Our scholarship fund is a continuation of his work encouraging students in education, creative freedom and self-actualization,” said Michael Bernard Beckwith, Agape founder and spiritual director.

The film screenings are sponsored by Universal Pictures, Laemmle Theatres and Target. The theatres are Laemmle’s Playhouse, 673 E. Colorado Blvd, in Pasadena; Laemmle’s Royal Theater, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., in West Los Angeles; Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., in Santa Monica; Laemmle’s Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd., in Encino; Laemmle’s NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd., in North Hollywood; and Laemmle’s Claremont 5, 450 W. 2nd St., in Claremont.

Tickets are $15. Visit www.agapelive.com. For more information, email youth@agapelive.com.

About Jesus Christ Superstar

It’s Easter season! Now 40 years after its first release in 1973 this modern passion play re-imagined into the magnetic Broadway musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (with poignant lyrics by Tim Rice) and immortalized into film by writer/director Norman Jewison, will be on Laemmle Theatre big screens around town for one night only, Mar. 28.

Critic Roger Ebert wrote, Jewison’s characters…” inhabit the desert freely, enacting their story as if it were not the central event in the Christian religion but rather the interesting career of a promising young man.”

Set during the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, the film uniquely explores the unasked question: Why did Judas betray Jesus?

An emotional exploration of conflicted relationships between flesh and blood people

rather than icons, the film Jesus Christ Superstar travels the terrain of the seduction and challenges of destiny, celebrity, friendship, fear, love, passion, and our notions of success and failure with great aplomb.

Both Ted Neely who portrayed Jesus and Carl Anderson who portrayed Judas (in the film as well as on Broadway) were both nominated for Golden Globe Awards for the searing insights they gave us into the heart and soul of these Biblical figures.

But before the film (itself based on the staged rock opera on Broadway), came the vinyl. Released as a single in January 1971, “Superstar” made it to the top 15. A month later, Helen Reddy’s version of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” – her first hit single – also reached the top 15. The recording of the same song from the original show album released as a single in April 1971, also made the top 30.

The album spent close to two years on the charts, including three weeks at No.1 in 1971. Consider this: other No.1 albums that year included John Lennon’s “Imagine,” George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass,” Janis Joplin’s “Pearl,” Carole King’s “Tapestry,” “Sticky Fingers” by The Rolling Stones, and “Four Way Street” (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.)

Meanwhile, the film rocked cultural, religious and secular opinions of its significance and place within society, and so was argued and discussed vehemently on all sides.

Educational forums held after-screening symposiums, sermons were delivered, articles were written, the Vatican radio station played the music but the Vatican newspaper did not speak of it.

About Carl Anderson

The late Carl Anderson is best known for his portrayal in “Jesus Christ, Superstar” both on Broadway and in the motion picture.  His role as the preacher in “The Color Purple,” his Emmy for “Onstage LA,” and performances with a host of outstanding artists including Nancy Wilson at Carnegie Hall, are also highlights in the life of this creative artist and open hearted man.  His critically-acclaimed songs include “How Deep Does it Go,” “Friends and Lovers,” If I Could” and “Who Can I Turn To?” He continues to receive airplay on jazz radio.

Dr. Rickie Byars Beckwith, director of the Agape International Spiritual Center Music and Arts Ministry, said “Carl was always encouraging toward higher heights in the arts. The scholarship established in his name gives us a way to celebrate a beautiful and magnificent life and help keep the name of Carl Anderson alive in the hearts of those who loved him. Since 2004, The Carl Anderson Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $100,000 to deserving students.

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