Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Win tickets to ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ screening with Ted Neeley


Ted Neeley, who played the title role in the 1973 film “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and who came to Fresno several times in the live stage version of the show, will be on hand for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. screening of the movie at the Tower Theatre.¬†Neeley is so firmly associated with the role — which he played into his late 60s on stage — that he’s sort of become the AARP version of the architect of Christianity, along the lines of “What Would Jesus Look Like on Social Security?” Also at the screening: Barry Dennen, who played Pontius Pilate.

Both will participate in a Q&A discussion before the screening and a “meet and greet” with the audience afterward. Tickets to the event are $15.

I’m giving away two pairs of tickets to Beehive readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Thursday. One comment per person, please. I’ll be informing winners at 10 a.m. via email, so check yours around that time. If you’re a winner, you’ll be able to pick your tickets up at Will Call. Rules are on the jump.

Recipients will be notified by e-mail at the end of each giveaway period. No substitutions or transfer of winners/prizes. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. Some prizes may have due dates for redemption/use. Employees and immediate family of The Fresno Bee, and any/all of the participating giveaway sponsors, are not eligible to win. By accepting a giveaway, recipient consents to allow the use of his/her name and/or photograph for advertising or similar promotions without further compensation. Winner releases all sponsors of liability regarding use and enjoyment of the prizes. Tax liabilities and insurance, if any, are sole responsibility of the winner. No purchase necessary to win.

Responses to "Win tickets to ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ screening with Ted Neeley"

Andrew says:

Man, oh, man would I love free tickets to this.

If I had to whittle it down to a favorite song, it’d be Gethsemane. I’ve seen Neeley perform it live three times now, and the emotion he brings and the control of his voice is amazing. It’s also my favorite on the concept album.

Manuel Bonilla says:

I love many of the songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, but my favorite is “This Jesus Must Die”.

A little background…

I wasn’t really into musical until I met my wife. One day we are sitting on the couch and my wife wanted to watch the movie, while I graded some school work. I thought that I could do so without having to pay too much attention, but I was wrong. From the very beginning of the musical I was hooked. I had to watch, just to know what 70′s craziness was going to happen next. Needless to say, not many papers were graded that day.
Anyways, “This Jesus Must Die” is my favorite because Caiaphas’ voice is amazingly deep, in contrast to the (kinda creepy) falsetto from Annas.

Stephen says:

I CANNOT GO, so please don’t pick me.

I think everyone knows I love and was raised by this movie, even tho I wasn’t fond of Barry Dennen.

I opened the Bee one day to find a full-page ad touting the live show coming to Fresno, with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson! Now I didn’t like Barry Dennen nor Yvonne Elliman, but this show touted Irene Cara as Mary and my favorite classic rock group singer Dennis DeYoung as Pilate!!

And tickets went on sale THAT DAY in like an hour!

I rushed out the door to the local Tower Records, where tix were gonna go up at 10am. I got there at 9:30 so I could stand in line.

At about 9:50, no line in sight, an employee opened the door and said “Um…can I help you?”

JC Superstar!! 10am!!

No line. I got the best seats of my choice.

I went into total fandom. I sent up a fruit basket. I sent little gifts for Ted and Carl. I waited outside for them. Dennis DeYoung just flew by, but Ted and Carl stopped to talk to folks. I got to talk to Carl for about 20 minutes! He was the reason I did theatre in the first place. Wow.

Then I watched Ted being asked to bless babies and pray for healing and to touch and heal people. He was kind and told everyone, “well, you know, I’m just a rock n roll drummer, but I’m glad to pray with you” and “well, you have a beautiful baby – I’m just a rock n roll singer, but God bless your little baby.”

These people thought he was Jesus, or had Jesus-like powers. Dozens of them.

I think he was relieved a bit to just have a regular fan like me to chat with for a spell. I needed no prayers, just to gush about his time singing with Ray Charles and the Little Big Band and the Teddy Neeley Five (yeah, I’m old).

All of that to say, wow – that guy has turned one incredible role into a career, better than Carol Channing ever could. Kudos to him and even Barry Dennen (who wasn’t all that bad) for not running away from their signature roles.

Chelsea and Manuel Bonilla says:

Okay, I know this sounds bad, but Manuel and I HAVE to pick “This Jesus Must Die” as our favorite song. We can’t resist making fun of the alternating vocal pitches between Caiaphas and the Priest!

Come on, how can you resist singing in your best falsetto, “What can we do about this Jesus mania? How do we deal with their carpenter king?”

BTW, the way I hooked Manuel on this musical was by watching it while he was grading papers. He kept glancing up and saying, “What IS this??” By the end of it he was mesmerized and now loves it so much he shows random clips to unsuspecting individuals.

Ron says:

“I Don’t Know How to Love Him”

Janet says:


Kylie says:

I’m partial to Heaven on their minds.

Cameron says:

Gethsemane is a classic.

Craig R. Miller says:

I like the song “Judas Death”. It is touching.

Tina Baskins says:

What’s the Buzz

William Betts says:

Would like the opportunity to see this classic on the big screen and hear from its performers. My daughter performed in the musical during 6th grade. She’s 18 now. I’d like to surprise her with tickets to the movie, since we haven’t spent much time together the last several months.

john lakovich says:

Gethsemane is my favorite. me and my grandmother would walk from her house at 533 farris the tower shopping center , for cat food and human food at the mayfair market. we would top off the day with a orange freeze at the carnation ice cream parlor. I learned more about gods love on those walks back in the late fifties than i did in a life time of church going. It would be great to go down memory lane again with those free tickets.

Sarah Woodward says:


Margaret Winebrenner says:

I was so excited to see the article on ” Jesus Christ Superstar !” I first saw the movie when I was pregnant with my youngest son. Years later the stage show with Ted Neeley came to Fresno and I took my son to see it! He was by then in collage and he loved seeing it ! I asked him if he wanted to go and he replied that ” That all his friends were talking about it !! He bought a cd during intermission and loved it! I would love to win and invite him again !! Thanks !!

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