About 35 years ago, John Lennon declared the Beatles more popular than Jesus. Well, careers go up and down, but right now, Jesus is again Da Man.
The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., is presenting its 20th anniversary edition of “The Glory of Easter,” a spectacle that includes 150 performers, a baby camel, llama, sheep and peacocks.
A press release says “Media attention to the movie ‘The Passion’ has rekindled interest in the most important drama in human history.”
“Rekindled”? It wasn’t like that musty ole story had been forgotten until Mel Gibson came along.
But don’t underestimate the power of movies. A Crystal Cathedral spokesman says ticket sales for the May 26-April 10 perfs are far ahead of past years, “selling out way in advance — which is unusual.”
Meanwhile, the Gibson film continues to fuel magazines (People’s cover: “Does Hollywood have faith?”) and TV: ABC expanded its April 5 Peter Jennings docu on St. Paul to three hours; PBS has a spec April 7 on the Shroud of Turin; on April 8, History Channel offers a double bill of “Trial of Jesus” and “The Real Pontius Pilate.”
Of course, these things are not surprising during Easter week. But Mel may have rekindled more than live perfs.
At this rate, Jesus is the clear frontrunner for Time magazine’s man of the year.