NBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' Casts John Legend in Leading Role

December 19, 2017

Ron Elkman, USA Today

John Legend has signed on to play the role of Jesus in NBC's upcoming live musical event, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Jesus Christ Superstar first opened on Broadway in 1971. The music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera, Cats & many other hit shows). The show's lyrics were written by Tim Rice (The Lion King, Aida & many other hit Broadway shows).

This production will be a little different than some of the other televised musicals of recent years. This show will be presented as a "live concert" from Brooklyn's Marcy Armory in front of a live audience. NBC's previous live musicals (The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz) were broadcast did not have an audience as they were broadcast from a soundstage.

It was announced last week that Alice Cooper will be performing the role of King Herod during the broadcast. 

John Legend will also serve an executive producer on the program. Lloyd Webber, Rice, Marc Platt (La La Land) are also some of the show's producers. John Legend, by the way, is no stranger to a musical. He was a producer on La La Land and wrote songs for Broadway's SpongeBob SquarePants musical.

The show will be broadcast live on NBC Easter night 2018 (April 1).