Peaches Christ Superstar Comes to Life!

by Laurie Henzel

Peaches has always been as nasty as she wants to be. For the last decade, we’ve fallen hard for her ultra-trashy and super sexy style of electro-punk. But the Canadian-born cocksure shock rocker has a little somethin’ up her sleeve to close out twenty-ten: her one-woman rock opera Peaches Christ Superstar

Next Friday, Peaches brings her 90-minute modern twist to Sir Tim Rice and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary 1971 opus Jesus Christ Superstar to the States. For Peaches, it’s somewhat of a pipe dream that’s been taking shape since her teenage days.

“I used to sing all the parts in my bedroom alone or act out certain parts with my friends,” she says. “In the back of my mind, I always thought it’d be cool to perform, but also thought it would be completely ridiculous because the parts are so demanding.”

In March, Peaches opened her vibrant spectacle at the Hebbel Theater
in Berlin, where her three-date run was completely sold-out. But
before Peaches Christ Superstar officially debuted, it nearly
suffered its final curtain call a month before. German authorities
lauded Peaches’ production as “unconventional” and claimed she didn’t
have the rights to sing these songs.

In turn, a disappointed Peaches voiced her concern via Twitter and
notable online publications such as The New York Times and
Pitchfork picked up the story. It was enough to get the ball
rolling again. Sir Tim Rice, the decorated lyricist behind Jesus
Christ Superstar, Evita
, and Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat
, also attended one of her Berlin gigs and
raved about Peaches’ bold interpretation. Due to popular demand, a
one-off performance in Hamburg and three additional Berlin shows
followed in late spring.

“[With Peaches Christ Superstar], I’m just trying to show how well-crafted these characters are without anything but the way they sing and how great the melodies are,” Peaches explains. “People want to hear the music, but they don’t want to see it in a gaudy production that they don’t understand.”

Longtime collaborator and Grammy-nominated piano man Chilly Gonzales helps brings Peaches Christ Superstar to life, where Peaches undertakes the roles of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the disciples. She strikes a fine balance for each part, some of which have tested Peaches’ vocal prowess, which she illustrates on “Talk to Me” and “Lose You” on her latest album, 2009’s I Feel Cream.

“The biggest motivation is Judas’ role – it’s the soul voice, you know? I sing very gently for Mary Magdalene. But I also get into this white man metal voice like Iron Maiden,” Peaches adds. “Every character has their different style and it was just a matter of listening to them and learning all those lyrics. I thought I knew them, but when you really try to do the whole thing, it’s petrifying. This is the most petrifying thing I’ve ever done.”- MacKenzie Wilson

Photos: top by Angel Ceballos, bottom by Holger Talinski

This promises to be a great show, there are still tickets available at:

Peaches Christ Superstar Tour Dates:

December 10th – Boston, MA (Institute of Contemporary Art)

December 11th – New York, NY (The Concert Hall at New York Society For Ethical Culture)

December 12th – Brooklyn, NY (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

December 14th – Chicago, IL (Portage Theater)

December 17th – Los Angeles, CA (Orpheum Theatre)

December 18th – San Francisco, CA (Herbst Theatre)

December 21st – Toronto, ON (Queen Elizabeth Theatre)


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