NBC is airing Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert again Sunday night to celebrate Easter during the coronavirus pandemic. The production originally aired live on April 1, 2018 and is considered one of the best productions from the recent wave of live musicals. The two-and-a-half-hour broadcast will begin Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET.
If you are not near a television Sunday night, but still want to watch it, you can stream it at the NBC app or NBC.com if you have a cable or satellite subscription. NBC affiliates are also available on most Internet TV platforms like Fubo, Sling, YouTube Live TV and Hulu Live TV. These platforms include short free trials before your account is charged.
Jesus Christ Superstar was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and tells the story of Jesus' last days. The show was originally produced as a concept album in 1970 before making its Broadway debut in 1971. Directors David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski used only one giant set for the 2018 live production, and cast a mix of Broadway stars and pop musicians in the major roles. John Legend played Jesus Christ and Sara Bareilles played Mary Magdelene. Rock star Alice Cooper played King Herod.
Hamilton star Brandon Victor Dixon played Judas Iscariot, while The Phantom of the Opera's Norm Lewis starred as Caiaphas. Ben Daniels, a Tony winner for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, played Pontius Pilate. Jason Tam starred as Peter, Jin Ha played Annas and Erik Gronwall played Simon Zealotes.
While many of the recent live musicals for television received mixed responses from critics, Jesus Christ Superstar earned near unanimous praise for its daring staging. It also won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) and four other awards. Legend, Victor Dixon and Bareilles were all nominated for their performances and Leveaux and Rudzinski were nominated for their directing. The special also won Best Movie Made for Television at the Critics' Choice Television Awards and the recording was nominated for the Best Musical Theater Album Grammy.
Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans for another live musical from NBC. In fact, ABC is the only one of the networks still soldiering ahead with these events. After The Little Mermaid Live! drew 9 million viewers in November, ABC announced plans to produce Young Frankenstein Live. No air date has been set. NBC was planning on staging Hair next, but that was scrapped. Fox has not done a live musical since its fiasco with Rent, where the network had to air a dress rehearsal because one of the leads broke his ankle.