Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy Award winner John Legend has been cast as Jesus Christ in NBC’s special event “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” to be aired Easter Sunday, April 1. NBC continues to innovate its live musical productions with the staging of this iconic rock opera in front of a large audience at the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” will be executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Joining the creative team also as executive producers are John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. Rock icon Alice Cooper was previously announced for the role of King Herod and the production will be helmed by esteemed British theatre director David Leveaux.
“We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “This score demands a singer with an amazing range and an actor with great depth, and there isn’t anyone better to bring this story to a new audience. His casting is also groundbreaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”
“John Legend is a superstar,” said Tim Rice, lyricist of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” “As a performer, his voice is infectious and effortless. As an actor, he is believable and honest. I’m thrilled he will be able to share his portrayal of Jesus with the world.”
“I’m thrilled to join the cast of this production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,’” Legend said. “It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance. We’ve already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I’m certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”
A highly accomplished musician, concert performer, songwriter, actor, and music and film producer, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. In 2015, he, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala.