Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert is scheduled to air on NBC on Easter Sunday April 1, 2018. The show is based on the 1970 concept album with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics from Tim Rice, which was transformed into the hit Broadway Musical in 1971. The production has wowed audiences for over 40 years.
The musical depicts the last week of Jesus’ life. The story begins as Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and concludes with the crucifixion. The point of view is from Judas Iscariot: friend, disciple and follower of Christ. Judas’ eventual betrayal of his friend pathes the way for the legendary series of tragic events.
The 1971 original Broadway musical garnered five Tony nominations in the categories of Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Lighting Design. The musical did take home the Drama Desk Award along with the Theatre World Award in 1972. The success of the show soon after developed into a film in 1973 directed by Norman Jewison (Rollerball) starring Ted Neeley (Django Unchained), Carl Anderson (The Color Purple), and Yvonne Elliman (Hawaii Five-O).
The live spectacle is executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt (La La Land), Craig Zadan (Hairspray), and Neil Meron (Chicago). David Leveaux (The Exception) and Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live!) serve as directors. Other notable crew members and crafts people include production designer, Jason Ardizzone-West (Adele Live in New York City), art director, Melissa Shakun (Blindspot), music producer, Harvey Mason Jr. (Pitch Perfect 3), choreographer, Camille A. Brown (Working in the Theatre), and stage manager Arthur Lewis, known most recently for his work on the 90th Academy Awards.
The extravaganza stars John Legend (La La Land) as Jesus, the living legend Alice Cooper as King Herod, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Ben Daniels (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Pontius Pilate, Brandon Victor Dixon (Power) as Judas, Jason Tam (The Blacklist) as Peter, Norm Lewis (Scandal) as Caiaphas, Erik Grönwall as Simon Zealotes, and Jin Ha as Annas. John Legend has already amassed 10 Grammy wins along with an Academy Award, while Alice Cooper has earned two Grammy nominations, and Sara Bareilles is a six-time Grammy nominee.
Superstar Live will contain all the original music. All 23 tracks will be reimagined for this once in a life time occasion. The highly anticipated event will showcase the hit songs, “Everything’s Alright”, “This Jesus Must Die”, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”, “Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)”, and of course, “Superstar.” Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airs live on NBC on April 1st at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST. The show will be performed on Brooklyn’s Marcy Armory. The Easter spectacular will invite a live audience of over 1500 attendees with the accompaniment of 32 musicians performing on stage.