'Jesus' Musical Shelved for Offending Christians

Russians call 'Jesus Christ Superstar' a 'profanation'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 29, 2012 4:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Looks like some Russians don't consider Jesus Christ much of a "superstar." Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar had to shut down in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don after prosecutors began investigating the production, AFP reports. Several people had complained that the show offended Christians: "As it stands, the work is a profanation," according to a letter signed by 18 local residents.

But people at the Rostov Philharmonic Theater say they're stunned—especially after the show ran five times and sold out on the fifth. "We are shocked that someone has demanded that the musical be cancelled," said an employee. "We will be told on Monday whether it is going ahead." Heightened tensions between believers and secular activists may be to blame, notes AFP, after Pussy Riot rockers were given two years for performing at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

In this theater publicity image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Paul Nolan, and Lee Siegel, right, are shown with the cast during a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, in New York.
In this theater publicity image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Paul Nolan, and Lee Siegel, right, are shown with the cast during a performance of "Jesus Christ Superstar," in New York.   (AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus)
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