Jesus Christ Superstar, a rock opera by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was remade for the NBC live Easter program on April 1 as their 5th annual prime time event. The original soundtrack of the televised event will be released on April 27.
This new rendition of the old classic starred famous singer John Legend as the protagonist Jesus Christ himself, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ most trusted disciple who ends up deceiving and betraying him, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene who is one of Jesus’ most trusted saints, Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate and pop culture icon Alice Cooper as King Herod.
The stage design gives off a very dystopian look into Jerusalem with the use of graffiti and neo colored lights giving a very grandiose vibe for each scene. The costumes are very distinct from one another giving a very punk and modern style which reflects the modern remake of the 1972 classic.
The real highlight of the production is the music.The songs are very catchy and memorable with their use of guitar riffs, keyboards and choreography. The music truly shines in songs such as “Heaven on Their Minds,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright,” and “Hosanna/Superstar.” All of these songs are well performed and are very loyal to the original tunes with added talent from well-known musicians, especially Alice Cooper and John Legend, who add a very unique feel to their given roles. Oddly enough, the resurrection scene was completely cut in this new version, giving it a bleak ending, but still able to stand on its own as a rock opera.
Definitely, worth the time viewing because of its true to character following of the original with updated musical renditions that add to the timeless biblical story.