From stage to film, Ted Neeley's lasting legacy is a title that hasn't gone out of style in 40 years: "Jesus Christ Superstar."
The rock singer — who played the title role in the stage production so many times he lost count — came to Fresno in 2010 in a touring production of the musical. Now Neeley is promoting the 40th anniversary of the movie, in which he also starred. He and Barry Dennen, who played Pontius Pilate, will attend a screening tonight at the Tower Theatre.
Here's a rundown:
The film: Directed by Norman Jewison in 1973, it received an Academy Award nomination for musical score and a Golden Globe nomination for best picture (musical/comedy). It chronicles the last days of Jesus in a contemporary way. (Think 1970s flower power.) The music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice include such well-known songs as "Superstar," "I Don't Know How to Love Him" and the title song.
The program: The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with a question-and-answer session with Neeley and Dennen. Following the screening of the newly restored digital print, the pair will hold a "meet and greet" with audience members.
The star: Neeley has a deep and abiding affection for "Jesus Christ Superstar." When interviewed in 2007 about yet another visit of the stage show to Fresno, he said he could never get tired of playing the role of Jesus. He said at the time his age was irrelevant because the audience sees the character, not him.
Win tickets: The Beehive is giving away two pairs of tickets to tonight's screening. To enter, leave a comment on the giveaway post at fresnobeehive.com. Deadline is 10 a.m. Winners will be able to pick up their tickets at the box office.
The details: Tickets are $15. Info: towertheatrefresno.com, (559) 485-9050.
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