It was typical of Berlin in 1984. Helmut Baumann had “Jesus Christ Superstar” all set to show at the palatial Theater des Westens.
But unsurprisingly, the theater wasn’t ready, and construction work was dragging on. Mr. Baumann, the artistic director, had no choice but to open his first production in a dreary exhibition hall.
It was an overnight hit though, making Eric Lee Johnson, a young singer from Washington, D.C., a superstar too.
Mr. Johnson had been working in Europe for five years, on the way to achieving his dream.