John Legend plays Jesus Christ in television special

The show is scheduled to broadcast on NBC on Easter Sunday.


NBC’s highly anticipated special event “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” will air live Easter Sunday, April 1 in front of a large audience in Brooklyn, N.Y., starring: John Legend as Jesus Christ, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Alice Cooper as King Herod, Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Jin Ha as Annas, Jason Tam as Peter and Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes.

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” will be executive produced by Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Alex Rudzinski.

The production will be helmed by esteemed British theatre director David Leveaux (“Nine”). Among the creative team are Emmy Award-winning live television director and executive producer Alex Rudzinski (“Hairspray Live!,” “Dancing With the Stars”), Emmy- and Tony Award-winning costumer designer Paul Tazewell (“The Wiz Live!,” “Hamilton”), Grammy Award-winning music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (“The Wiz Live!”), musical director Nigel Wright (“Jesus Christ Superstar” world arena tour), production designer Jason Ardizzone-West (“Adele Live in NYC”) and choreographer Camille A. Brown (“Once on This Island”).

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is based on the final week of Jesus’ life. The album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and made its way to the stage in 1971. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.

Since then, the musical has been considered a classic and has become a staple of theatre and music organizations throughout the world. It has been performed in nearly 20 countries and translated into 18 different languages. There have been many revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” over the 46 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The 1973 film was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley.

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