What Did Critics Think of NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Starring John Legend?

The Verdict   What Did Critics Think of NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Starring John Legend?
 
Sara Bareilles, Alice Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Norm Lewis, and Jason Tam co-starred in the TV presentation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical.
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John Legend, Norm Lewis, and Jin Ha Courtesy of NBC

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert aired on NBC April 1.

FLIP THROUGH OUR EXCLUSIVE JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT PLAYBILL

Oscar and Grammy winner (and Tony-winning producer) John Legend starred as Jesus with Waitress’ Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Hamilton alum Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Alice Cooper as King Herod, Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Jason Tam as Peter, Jin Ha as Annas, and Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes.

Critics have filed their reviews of the live event; read them below:

Deadline (Dino-Ray Ramos)

Entertainment Weekly (Kristen Baldwin)

Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)

Los Angeles Times (Lorraine Ali)

The New York Times (Noel Murray)

Newsday (Verne Gay)

NPR (Linda Holmes)

Variety (Maureen Ryan)

The Washington Post (Hank Stuever)

The ensemble featured Joel Perez, Lauren Zakrin, Felicia Boswell, Melody Betts, Abby Corrigan, Micaela Diamond, Rory Donovan, Christine Dwyer, Mike Evariste, F. Michael Haynie, Charissa Hogeland, Bre Jackson, Mykal Kilgore, Billy Lewis Jr., Justin Gregory Lopez, Angel Lozada, Vince Oddo, Kyle Taylor Parker, Jonah Platt, Conor Ryan, Christina Sajous, Justin Matthew Sargent, Heath Saunders, Joey Taranto, and Syndee Winters.

Dancers included Chloe Davis, Timothy Edwards, Shelby Finnie, Bahiyah Hibah, Juel D. Lane, Terk Lewis, Mayte Natalio, Sarah Parker, Tre Smith, and Maleek Washington.

The David Leveaux-helmed concert was staged in front of an audience at Williamsburg's Marcy Armory. Alex Rudzinski, who earned an Emmy for his work on Fox's Grease and an additional nod for NBC's Hairspray, returned to the live musical format as television director. Lloyd Webber and Rice executive produced the live event along with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, and Rudzinski.

Jesus Christ Superstar premiered on Broadway in 1971 and was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Original Score for Lloyd Webber and Rice. The show was subsequently revived in 1977, 2000, and 2012.

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