NBC’s Next Live Musical


John Wesesky, Writer

John Legend, Alice Cooper, and Sara Bareilles are to star in the next upcoming live NBC musical of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. The rock opera tells the story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion through hits such as “Heaven on Their Minds” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” After 48 years from the original concept album, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s religious musical is coming to television.

The concept album was released in 1970 with much controversy. Catholic people did not appreciate Webber’s interpretation of the sacred event. They believed it to be sacrilegious. To have Jesus be associated with rock was an utmost disgrace. Other people loved it immediately. Its original singers consisted of Ian Gillan, lead singer of Deep Purple, and Yvonne Elliman, who was arrested for weed and meth in 2017. Gillan played Jesus and Elliman played Mary Magdalene, Jesus’s prostitute friend. The other singers included Mike d’ Abo as King Herod, Murray Head as Judas, and many more.

The live rock opera only has Legend, Cooper, and Bareilles confirmed to play lead roles. Legend will be playing Jesus, who was originally played by Gillan.  Bareilles will be playing Mary Magdalene, who was originally played by Elliman. Cooper will be playing King Herod, originally played by d’Abo. It is going to be wild to see such pop artists be in a rock opera. It is not going to be for Alice Cooper though because of his rock career.

The musical will occur on NBC on April 1, 2018 at no specific time yet. This date is very special and has a correlation to the title of the rock opera. April 1 is Easter Sunday this year which is when Christ comes back from the dead after his crucifixion, which is detailed through musical numbers. Be sure to tune in see what all the buzz is about.