Fairbanks actors captivated their diverse audience up until the last five minutes of the show. Through no fault of the talented cast or truly accomplished musicians, FLOT’s performance of “Jesus Christ: Superstar” turned sour for some audience members in the last few minutes when the actors left the stage but the background screen flashed a salvation message.
A week before opening night, director Brian Bennett, who is also the assistant pastor of Friends Church, said in an interview that the show didn’t have an evangelical message, despite its venue. “The decision is left to the person whether Jesus Christ is divine or a prophet, a man, the son of god and that’s left open at the end of the show.”
But the salvation message that Jesus died for the sins of humanity closed the option to some viewers that Jesus was a man or prophet. Brian Bennett said that when he acted in the play 20 years ago they would have gotten criticism had they not alluded to the resurrection. Now 20 years later he says it’s the opposite. Bennett said it never occurred to him to leave out a reference to the resurrection. “The story doesn’t end there,” he says. “It would be like ripping out the last 10 pages of a book.”
The message wasn’t part of the “Jesus Christ: Superstar” written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, but by including it, Bennett says it keeps the play accurate to the story of the Bible.