This year, Easter Sunday will bring with it more than just a healthy dose of chocolate, when John Legend and Sara Bareilles take the stage for NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar live.
The Andrew Lloyd Weber musical will air in real-time, with a 1,500-person audience adding to all the excitement. In a recent interview with The Grapevine, Legend spoke about the one-of-a-kind role and opportunity. He said, “This is so iconic and to say I was the one who played black Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar— I had to do it.”
Interested in learning more about the rehearsal process with pictures that show behind-the-scenes snaps of Jesus Christ Superstar live? Read on.
Jesus Christ Superstar was debuted in 1971. The play s primarily sung, with only a small share of dialogue, and is based on the Gospel’s writings of Jesus’ last week of life. Judas is a central character in the play. In tonight’s performance, Judas is played by Erik Gronwall, a Swedish heavy rock singer who won the reality singing competition Idol in 2009.
Few people may be aware that John Legend won a Tony Award for his Broadway Show “Jitney” in 2017, which he co-produced. Legend was born in Ohio, and homeschooled by his mother. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied English and Africa-American literature. After graduating, he started working on his own music while working as a music consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.
Legend released his debut album in 2004, at the age of 26. The album had big names on it, including Kanye West, Dave Tozer, and will.i.am. It debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200. It went on to earn Legend the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, along with the awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.