NBC landed another music star for the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, as it was announced today that Sara Bareilles will play Mary Magdalene in the upcoming NBC production. Bareilles will play opposite John Legend in the live musical on NBC, which is set to air on April 1, Easter Sunday.
Of course, Bareilles is no stranger to the stage or to musicals. The Tony and Grammy nominee wrote the music and lyrics to the current Broadway musical Waitress. Sara also appeared on the Broadway stage in the musical. Bareilles is beyond excited for this new project, which she talked about in a statement.
“To say I’m excited about this performance is the understatement of the century. This score and this musical have been a part of me from a very young age and it will be one of the great thrills of my life to sing these iconic songs. It’s incredible to see the beloved medium of musical theatre being embraced by television audiences, and this cast and creative team is extraordinary. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the project!”
Besides Bareilles starring as Mary Magdalene, Entertainment Weekly also reports that John Legend will star as the title character, Jesus Christ. The show will also feature Alice Cooper, who is playing King Herod. David Leveaux, a Tony Award nominee, will be directing the live production. The concert will be filmed in front of a live audience at the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn, NY.
Jesus Christ Superstar originally opened on Broadway in 1971. It was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who are serving as executive producers for this live production. The original musical is based on the final week of Jesus’ life. Lloyd Webber is also excited to have Bareilles join the cast.
“It’s an absolute thrill to have a Tony-nominated composer as our Mary Magdalene. Not only is Sara Bareilles a brilliant songwriter and lyricist, she commanded the Broadway stage in her show Waitress. Being able to write a successful musical isn’t easy. Being able to write AND star in the leading role in that musical, on Broadway, twice, is something very few people can say they have on their CV. Couple that with her emotionally charged live Oscar and Grammy performances and America can rest easy knowing that Bareilles is going to nail it when we go live April 1 on NBC.”
According to Broadway.com, Bareilles first rose to mainstream acclaim back in 2007 with the song, “Love Song.” The song earned her two Grammy nominations in 2009. Bareilles was also nominated for a Grammy award in 2011 for “King of Anything” and in 2014 for her album The Blessed Unrest and the single “Brave.”
Bareilles made her Broadway composing debut with Waitress. The musical earned her a Tony nomination for Best Score in 2016 and a Grammy nomination in 2016 for Best Musical Theater Album. Sara joined the Waitress cast in 2017 in the role of Jenna. That was Bareilles’ Broadway debut and she is set to return to the stage, as she begins a second run in the role on January 16.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airs on Easter Sunday, April 1, on NBC.