Gene Ween, Joe Russo and Friends Perform The Music From Jesus Christ Superstar
On February 9 and 10, an all-star cast of musicians performed the music of the play Jesus Christ Superstar at Woodstock, NY’s Bearsville Theater. Presented and directed by School of Rock founder Paul Green—the inspiration for Jack Black’s character in the film of the same name—the shows featured
Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman, Furthur/Duo drummer Joe Russo,
David Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey, DRUGS’ Joey Eppard,
Low Anthem/Surprise Me Mr. Davis producer Jesse Lauter, Tracy Bonham, Dr. Know of Bad Brains and more. Proceeds benefited
the Woodstock Day School. Jason Bowman (The Five Points Band) served as the shows’ choir director.
The event was less a play, but more a tribute to the original 1970 album that featured Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Joe Cocker’s Grease Band. Aaron Freeman sang Judas on “What’s the Buzz/Stange Things Misitfying,” “Everything’s Alright,” and arguably the highlight of the show, “Judas’ Death.” Joe Russo played drums from “Overture” through “Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem,” and came back for “Superstar” to the show closer “John Nineteen Fourty-One.” Gail Ann Dorsey sang Judas on the opening number, “Heaven On Their Minds,” and played bass on “Everything’s Alright” and “Superstar.” Joey Eppard offered the Jesus character’s parts on “What’s The Buzz/Strange Things Mistifying,” “The Last Supper “ and some of the albums more vocally challenging songs. Jesse Lauter sang on “Hosanna,” “Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem,” and “The Arrest.” Tracy Bonham sang Mary Magdalene on “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” and played violin throughout the show. Dr. No played guitar at different points throughout the show. Perhaps the coolest member of the cast came from the choir: Michael “Clip” Payne (aka The Man in the Box) of Parliament-Funkadelic (the intro to Atomic Dog).
Lucas Handwerker provided the opening entertainment, and other performers included Marco Benevento’s wife Katie (who worked with him on his new solo album), Connor Kennedy and Jason Bowman, among many others.