Recently, during my visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I attended the musical, “Soul’d Out”. Was it anything like “Jesus Christ Superstar”? I hope not, but I didn’t see that show, so I can’t say. But, here’s my journaled review of this rockabilly theatrical failure:
“Soul’d Out” was a disappointing .. sort of 1960’s musical, based on “The return of Jesus” as a clone in the future. He was brought back to life, merely, to be a spokesman for a company called CloneCast, which had resurrected him from DNA found on the Shroud of Turin. In this new life, he rebelled against that purpose and wanted to return to simply healing people; turning water into wine and reviving the dead. Which was virtuous, of course; but, weakly expressed.
Then, there was a very caustic, striding, female God/Creator/Mama, who was the sophisticated owner of CloneCast. She dominated the show when onstage, naturally; but had no redeeming qualities. No beautiful songs or voice. Simply, corporate power personified. This actress pulled the play’s mood down; making the pace drag jerkily. Big Mama’s motives were selfish and commercial. Finally, came rebellion! The meek and modest Jesus prays to his Father/God; fires his Mother and throws her into the cloning machine.
Thus, the sum total mood of the musical was anger and contention; rather than uplifting triumph and advancement through the long-promised Return of Christ. Was Earth too far gone in her own commercialism to care about that Great Day? Apparently so!
My overall impression was the slow pace and my own overwhelming boredom. I wondered how the actors, musicians and stagehands could put up with such a drag, night after night?
The one magnificent thing that should be my only commentary, was the spot-on casting of Mary Magdalene as Marilyn Monroe; and the persona of Jesus Christ. Gosh, they sure fit and looked the parts! The actress playing Marilyn really resembled that famed glamour girl, perfectly!!! And, Jesus totally suited the West’s impression of him, facially and physically. A well-built, perfect man… which fact they made sure to, gratuitously, demonstrate with a full-frontal flash of nudity!!!
Yep, he’s real, alright! Prior to that moment, his pull-on, cotton pants rode right above the pubic hairline. Perhaps this scene was intended to add to his innocent puzzlement about being cloned and returning from the dead???
Well, the San Miguel Playhouse is a very intimate theater where front row attendees are practically onstage. Why that innocently-inserted, and ostensibly-ignored; more biological than sexual, flashing was included, I have no idea. Maybe, Broadway does it all the time?
Jesus was such a sympathetic and innocent creature, that we allowed him the babylike benefit of the doubt and went away with a reminder of how beautiful the male body is.
Meanwhile, the all-time sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe, prances sweetly in her typical sundresses; flashing wide-eyed Marilyn faces at the audience. A flip-flop of expected roles was taking place: with a dominating, crafty Creator and a sweet butterfly, non–temptress. Even soft-spoken Jesus’s ultimate rebellion by throwing his Mom in the crushing machine didn’t really solve anything.