Cult of personality - LancasterOnline: Entertainment

Cult of personality

Living Colour singer Corey Glover brings his charisma to the stage as Judas in ‘Superstar’

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008 2:18 am | Updated: 3:55 pm, Wed Sep 11, 2013.

For Corey Glover, it's all about expression - whether he's fronting the rock band Living Colour or playing Judas in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar."

"In musical theater, you have to put on a costume and you have to get into character," Glover said during a telephone interview. "In a band, you are the character.

"As a character, you express the character's feelings. As yourself, you're expressing your feelings. If I didn't feel like the person does in 'Open Letter (to a Landlord)' or 'Glamour Boys,' it wouldn't ring true. By the same token, if I didn't feel like Judas does in 'Heaven on Their Minds,' you know I'd be full of it."

Local fans will get to see and hear Glover express the musical-theater side of his personality when he performs opposite Ted Neeley in a touring production of the groundbreaking rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

"Jesus Christ Superstar," first released as a double-album in 1971, will be performed Wednesday and Thursday at Hershey Theatre.

Glover, who lives in New York, has been performing with Neeley, who also played Jesus Christ in the film version of the musical, since 2007.

"This is a show I've always wanted to do," Glover, 43, said.

Though he's best known as the lead singer for Living Colour, which had a huge hit in 1988 with the Grammy-winning song "Cult of Personality," Glover started as an actor.

He was a member of a children's theater ensemble, he studied musical theater at his New York high school and he started appearing in television commercials when he was 14.

"I decided, I'm going to be an actor, I'm going to be a musician, I'm going to be an artist," Glover said. "I wanted to do all this stuff. I wanted to do all those things. And when the opportunities came, I took them."

He answered the call when he was asked to join the cast of the movie "Platoon," which won the Academy Award for best picture in 1986.

And he answered the call when he was asked to join a fledgling band in New York that included a brilliant guitarist named Vernon Reid.

Living Colour, a hard-rock band that incorporates elements of funk and jazz, hit it big right out of the gate with its first album, "Vivid," released in 1988.

The next year, the band was opening for the Rolling Stones in stadiums across the United States.

"The only thing we really wanted was a record deal," Glover said. "We really weren't trying to sell billions of records and go off into the stratosphere. We thought if we got a record deal we could go on the road and be a working band. Then opportunities would come.

"It exceeded our expectations."

Living Colour was something of an anomaly because it was a rock band and all of its members were black.

Glover said they always drew stares when they entered a restaurant and sat down to eat.

"Inevitably, someone says, 'What do you guys do?' Glover said. "We say, 'We're in a band,' and the game we played was, 'Guess what kind of band we are?'

"Never was it a rock band. When you hear about a rock band you think about Aerosmith, you think about the Rolling Stones, you think about Led Zeppelin, hell, you think about Foghat. Even through the so-called New Wave era, a rock band, even with the isometric haircuts, was still white guys with a single black guy in there as the drummer or the bass player."

The band, however, broke up in 1995 before reforming in 2001 for its first tour in six years.

Glover said he and his band mates are working on a new album, tentatively called "The Chair in the Doorway," that they hope to release this year.

They also went into the studio last year to re-record "Cult of Personality" for the "Guitar Hero III" video game.

"I've played it and I'm really bad at it," he said. "Vernon is just as bad at it."

Go figure.

Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring Corey Glover as Judas, Wed. and Thu., 7:30 p.m., Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey, $37.75 to $62.75, 534-3405.

E-mail: jferguson@lnpnews.com

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