‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live’ With Alice Cooper, to Return on Easter Sunday

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Photo of Alice Cooper via NBC

NBC will re-broadcast its Emmy Award-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live on Easter Sunday, April 12 at 7 p.m. ET / 6 CT. The 2018 television production stars John Legend in the titular role, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdelene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas Iscariot, and Alice Cooper as King Herod. Cooper made the most of his brief appearance in the strong production which originally aired on Easter Sunday 2018. When first broadcast, the program won its time period in each half hour.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live earned five Emmy Awards in 2018, most notably Outstanding Variety Special (Live). The television production was performed in front of a live audience at Marcy Armory in Brooklyn, New York.

Watch a teaser clip for the Easter 2020 broadcast

Jesus Christ Superstar, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, was originally conceived as a 1970 concept album with Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan as Jesus, Murray Head as Judas Iscariot, Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene and Mike D’Abo as King Herod. The recording hit #1 on the Billboard album chart, and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus’ life.

In its review of the 2018 broadcast, The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “This was a phenomenally balanced production of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which star power was equaled by depth of feeling and characterization in all the principals. And the immediacy of television, with close-ups capable of bringing us in tight on the performers’ faces, gave Jesus and Mary Magdalene a complexity that often is missing from conventional productions.”

The Washington Post wrote: “Redeeming itself from an overblown first half and having its energy continually sapped by frequent commercial breaks, NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert was saved Sunday night by its emotional climax, as Brandon Victor Dixon (as Judas Iscariot) delivered an unforgettably raucous take on the show’s title number and John Legend (as Jesus) floated away on a cross into an impressively ethereal light display.”

Listen to the classic rock star sing “King Herod’s Song” from the April 1, 2018 live broadcast

Cooper’s casting was announced on Dec. 8, 2017, before any of the other leads.

Related: Our interview with Cooper

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  1. Andrew
    #1 Andrew 3 April, 2020, 00:36

    I like Alice Just like everyone else does. But the man that made the lp and the role work is still alive. Did anyone ask Ian Gillan if he wanted to revise the role?

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