NBC to Air Live "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Easter Night

by VVN Music

NBC has been airing an annual live musical each December for the last few years including The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray and the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie but, for 2017-18, they will add a second live production.

On Easter night (April 1, 2018), the network will air a new live production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. Rice and Webber executive produce along with Marc Platt, Craig Zaden and Neil Meron.

NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said "As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC. Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score."

That would follow in the footsteps of the original concept album that was released in 1970 that had Deep Purple veteran Ian Gillan singing the part of Jesus and newcomer Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene. The original album made Murray Head a known name worldwide with the hit single of the title song which he followed a decade later with One Night in Bangkok from Chess.

Others on the original album included British blues singer Victor Brox (Caiaphas), actor Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate), future Roxy Music member John Gustafson (Simon Zealots), Manfred Mann's Mike d'Abo (King Herod), Paul Raven (aka Gary Glitter) (priest) and the likes of Tony Ashton, Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Rice as background vocalists.

The show went on to become a successful Broadway and West End show, motion picture directed by Norman Jewison and touring spectacular.

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