The production does do a fine job of implying the intelligence and perspective that Jesus and Judas share, a connection that goes beyond what Jesus shares with his other, more simple and self-absorbed apostles. Jesus is essentially alone when he’s with most of his followers, and Judas’s frank, accusatory gaze, which clearly sees the human flaws the others miss, offers both indictment and the possibility of real communion.
But of course we know how it turns out. The show ends rather suddenly, however much we’ve all seen it coming, unapologetically grim as he goes up on the cross and seems at the end, for all of his star-struck followers, quite alone.
Jesus Christ Superstar | by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber | Directed by Jamie Lupien Swenson | Musical Direction by Bob Gauthier | Choreography by Victoria Perreault | Produced by Portland Players, in South Portland | through September 29 | 207.799.7337