Three Reasons To Watch Jesus Christ Superstar This Sunday – (John Legend Is Jesus!)By Delaina Dixon | March 29, 2018 | Entertainment
NBC is bringing Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert to our TV screens on Easter Sunday. If you’re a musical newbie, it’s the story of Jesus’ last few weeks on earth before his crucifixion – and the people who came into his life to foster his greatest sacrifice to all of humankind (we’re talking about you, Judas!).
If you on the fence about whether to watch this Sunday while chowing down on the Easter ham, read on for three amazing reasons to check it out – and maybe make it a holiday tradition with the family.
1. This is some major diverse casting. NBC has really made a commitment to showcasing its live productions with diverse casts (hey, they did The Wiz and Hairspray). And JCS Live is no different. The cast is a rainbow of colors and ethnicities. Broadway stars Jin Ha, Jason Tam and Brandon Victor Dixon play Annas, Peter and Judas, respectively. Sweden Idol winner and rock star Erik Gronwall is Simon (with TV DivaGal’s personal fave song in the musical), British actor Ben Daniels is Pontius Pilate and shock rock god Alice Cooper is King Herod. Sara Bareilles is in the definitive female role of Mary Magdalene and of course, John Legend is playing the title role of Jesus. The apostles ensemble, full of working Broadway actors, are male AND female, taking the step for equality one pace further.
2. The cast is connecting with the music and its spiritual core. Broadway vet Norm Lewis who plays Caiaphas, a high priest who’s been tracking Jesus’ rise to fame, shares that he didn’t connect with the music as a child because there was some “unholy” fear of its content. “The album – I remember back in second grade – there was a controversy for me, the Christian aspect of it: was it blasphemous, was it not? For a long time, I was scared to listen to listen to it.” Norm shares. “I grew up as a church kid, my grandfather was a preacher, my dad was very high in the church. Once I got non-scared to listen to it – I listened to how [Jesus Christ Superstar composer] Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this music and the emotion in the music. So you didn’t even have to act, it acts for you. And people love it.”
3. Jesus Equals Obama? Jason Tam, who stars as Peter, the apostle who winds up denying Jesus three times (you’ll have to watch to find out why), has made the most interesting comparison between Jesus and POTUS 44. “I find myself comparing over and over Jesus to President Barack Obama,” he declares. “The way that we place all of our eggs in one basket, even if that person doesn’t want it. I would place all my hopes and dreams and expectations of fixing all of the world’s problems in this one person. And Obama is similar to Jesus in the sense that he didn’t want that, he wanted to empower you to make the changes you want to shape the world and your view.” Wow!
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, airs Sunday, April 1 at 8 pm. on NBC.
photo credit: NBC