The list of stars cast for NBC’s staging of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on Easter Sunday 2018 is expanding. Tony Award® nominee Sara Bareilles is the latest high-profile performer added, and she will take on the role of Mary Magdalene.
Singer-songwriter Bareilles wrote the music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical Waitress for which she received a 2016 Tony nomination for Best Original Score. She also made her Broadway debut from March to June 2017 in the show’s lead role of Jenna and has announced she will return for another six-week engagement as Jenna beginning Jan. 16.
The news about Bareilles follows two other key cast announcements for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in December. Ten-time Grammy Award winner John Legend will star in the title role of Jesus. And, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper is cast as King Herod.
Legend won a Tony in 2017 as a producer for Jitney, the August Wilson play that took home top honors for Best Revival of a Play. Two years earlier, Legend won an Oscar for his song “Glory” in the 2014 film Selma. During a music career that spans five decades, Cooper has proved himself a very theatrical presence.
Jesus Christ Superstar, created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, debuted on Broadway in 1971. The groundbreaking rock musical is set during the final week of Jesus’ life, with its story told from the perspective of his infamous betrayer, Judas Iscariot.
Directing Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC is David Leveaux, an acclaimed British theatre director and five-time Tony nominee. The show’s producers are Lloyd Webber and Rice, as well as Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Marc Platt. Zadan and Meron have shepherded all four of NBC’s previous live musical productions (The Sound of Music Live! – 2013, Peter Pan Live! – 2014, The Wiz Live! – 2015, and Hairspray Live! – 2016). Platt was behind FOX’s Grease Live! in 2016 and A Christmas Story Live! in December 2017.
The three-hour live event will air on NBC on Sunday, April 1.
Watch for further news online about Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.