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4455204223_9c8f7dd911_z“Jesus Christ Superstar” is one of the best known plays to ever appear on Broadway. The Christian rock opera was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in 1970 as a rock opera concept album and made its Broadway debut the following year. The play depicts the last week of Jesus’ life. It begins right before Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and ends with His crucifixion and death. The show is known for interweaving the Gospel’s accounts of Jesus’ last days with modern slang and events which leads to many clever, humorous and deliberate anachronisms.

The show has been a subject of debate for many years in part due to its sympathetic view of Judas Iscariot and the ways it depicts his relationship with Jesus. On April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday, people will be able to decide for themselves how they feel about the portrayal of the most famous traitor of all. At 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, NBC will be presenting “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” an exuberant concert staging of the classic play. The production stars Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas and John Legend as Jesus Christ. Alice Cooper, Ben Daniels, Norm Lewis, Jin Ha, Jason Tam and Erik Gronwall are also part of the cast. The original authors of the show, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, will be executive producers and will be joined in that role by Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Alex Rudzinski.

While most of America will be watching from the comfort of their living rooms, the production will also be airing live. The live, in-person concert will take place at the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York and be transmitted to the homes of viewers across the nation.

The cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” has called it “an incredible honor” to be a part of the “unique” endeavor. “It’s a Broadway show, it’s a concert, it’s a television show–it’s kind of the best of all of these worlds,” said Brandon Victor Dixon who plays Judas Iscariot. “It’s the betrayal, it’s the crucifixion, it’s His relationship with Mary Magdalene–it’s a roller coaster of emotion,” said Sara Bareilles who plays Mary Magdalene.

“The power of this production is that it talks about the human emotions that Jesus quite likely felt as he was about to be killed,” said John Legend.

“This is absolutely one of the most classic shows of all time…talk about timeless subject matter,” agreed Bareilles. “To do this show live, on television, especially in front of a live audience, it’s electric and thrilling. It is an epic journey to witness.”

The first look is available on YouTube, and more information can be found on NBC’s social media pages, #JesusChristSuperstar. Otherwise, tune in on Easter Sunday to see the last days of Christ brought to life by the magic only Broadway can produce.

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