According to BBC News, the Russian city of Rostov's philharmonic has canceled a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar due to protests by Orthodox Christians.
Read the original report here.
Russian Orthodox protestors entered a formal complaint with prosecutors in Rostov-on-Don and sent a letter to the philharmonic's management saying the rock musical "projected the 'wrong' image of Christ". They also referred to a "new law protecting the rights of believers".
This could be referring to a bill under consideration by the Russian parliament that would make it illegal to offend the "religious feelings of citizens."
Lloyd Webber's rock opera, featuring lyrics by Tim Rice, is currently on a celebrated UK arena tour, and the Broadway revival just closed this summer, 2012. Jesus Christ Superstar was first staged on Broadway in 1971, directed by Tom O'Horgan at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and starring Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. The Musical then opened at London's Palace Theatre on The West End in 1972 starring Paul Nicholas as Jesus and Stephen Tate as Judas. The 1973 film adaptation, directed by Norman Jewison, was the eighth highest-grossing film of that year. A second film was released in 2000 starring Glenn Carter in the role of Jesus; it won the 2001 Emmy for Best Performing Arts film.
Picture from the O2 Arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo Credit: Dan Wooller.