Several hundred people have been arrested for their involvement in the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, and they’re an eccentric bunch. The QAnon Shaman may be the most flamboyant perpetrator, but at least he wasn’t arrested while touring in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar. That honor belongs to someone else.
According to The Daily Beast, the feds belatedly arrested one James D. Beeks, a 49-year-old musical theater actor who they say was among the violent hordes who breached the Capitol building as Congress was certifying the election of now-president Joe Biden. He was charged with obstruction of Congress and entering a restricted building or grounds.
When he was arrested, he was still on the cast list, under his stage name “James T. Justis,” for a touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s game-changing rock opera, which takes a reverential yet cockeyed look at the final days of the son of God. He played Judas, the show’s co-lead, who is portrayed as a tragic and quasi-sympathetic character, turning Jesus into the Romans because he’s fears he’s let his messiah complex get in the way of his social activism.
Beeks’ past theater credits include Broadway productions of Kinky Boots, Aida, Ragtime, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. On his YouTube page, he bills himself as a “Top Michael Jackson Tribute artist.”
But Beeks’ CV is more versatile than most. Two weeks before Jan 6., he reportedly paid dues to the Oath Keepers, the far-right militia group who believe the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy cabal and who encourage their members to disobey law enforcement. While many who showed up that fateful day did so wearing homemade body armor, Beeks came bearing a jacket from Michael Jackson’s tour for the album Bad.
The Jesus Christ Superstar touring show that featured Beeks was due to play Milwaukee Tuesday night, with performances scheduled through Sunday (save Thanksgiving, of course), before moving onto to Toronto. For the role of Judas, at least, it appears they may have to go with an understudy. Still, this perhaps isn’t the most shameful thing to befall Andrew Lloyd Webber in the last couple years.
(Via The Daily Beast)