The New York Times
The trend of network live musicals will continue in spring 2018 as NBC has announced JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR as its next production. The religious-themed musical will, appropriately, premiere on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.
Originally conceived as a concept album (similar to Hamilton), the rock opera musical, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a sung-through account of the last week of Jesus’ life, as told by the Gospels. Depicting more personal struggles between Jesus and Judas, the musical ends with the crucifixion of Jesus. It first premiered on Broadway in 1971 and was nominated for five Tonys and won Webber the Most Promising Composer Drama Desk Award.
Webber and Rice will executive produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron, the two latter of whom have exec produced all of NBC’s live musicals since The Sound of Music in 2013.
Previously, Webber and Rice have also collaborated on Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Individually, Webber is also the mind behind the classic Phantom of the Opera and Rice has a long relationship with Disney, working on The Liong King and more.
NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt has revealed that casting has just begun for the musical and that the network wants 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.”
Superstar follows Bye Bye Birdie, which will air on NBC this December with Jennifer Lopez.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor