Jesus Christ Superstar as an NBC Live Musical for Easter 2018

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by BradOlson, May 14, 2017.

  1. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    NBC to Air Live "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Easter Night
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    NBC has been airing an annual live musical each December for the last few years including The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray and the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie but, for 2017-18, they will add a second live production.

    On Easter night (April 1, 2018), the network will air a new live production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. Rice and Webber executive produce along with Marc Platt, Craig Zaden and Neil Meron.

    NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said "As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC. Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score."

    That would follow in the footsteps of the original concept album that was released in 1970 that had Deep Purple veteran Ian Gillan singing the part of Jesus and newcomer Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene. The original album made Murray Head a known name worldwide with the hit single of the title song which he followed a decade later with One Night in Bangkok from Chess.

    Others on the original album included British blues singer Victor Brox (Caiaphas), actor Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate), future Roxy Music member John Gustafson (Simon Zealots), Manfred Mann's Mike d'Abo (King Herod), Paul Raven (aka Gary Glitter) (priest) and the likes of Tony Ashton, Madeline Bell, Lesley Duncan and Rice as background vocalists.

    The show went on to become a successful Broadway and West End show, motion picture directed by Norman Jewison and touring spectacular.
     
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  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    The original 1970 production, is a timeless though mostly forgotten classic.

    So many people rave about ALW, but they seem to only relate to his later works.

    I see this as a brand new opportunity to reintroduce JCS to the masses.

    Just hope, that they don't screw this up!
     
  3. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Jesus Christ Superstar is the best thing Andrew Lloyd Webber ever did. So many great songs. His later stuff is so forgettable. I love musicals, but I've tried to listen to CATS at least four times and it's miserable.

    The original recording of JCS is so great. Such great artists. The singing! Love the simple guitar-driven production. I hope they show off the band backing the show when they do it on tv. I prefer it as a work of rock and roll more than a theatrical production. I can't stand the movie. I'd rather listen to the album any day and draw my own images. I thought the movie was tacky.
     
  4. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  5. montyburns

    montyburns Well-Known Member

    Location:
    MA, USA
    as a huge fan of jcs...i am not excited at all for this

    ugh
     
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  6. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    JCS is a timeless and at the same time an awesome period piece going back to 1970 and I agree that this IS Andrew Lloyd Webber's best work ever.
     
  7. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven Thread Starter

    To really experience this, one has to start with the original 1970 production on the original album.
     
  8. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Jesus.
     
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  9. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Let's see, modern day JCS cast:

    Jesus: Matt Bellamy (Muse)
    Mary Magdalene: Miley Cyrus
    Pontius Pilate: Colin Meloy (Decemberists)
    Judas:???
     
  10. Archie was not a fan...
     
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  11. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Now that is good.
     
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  12. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Why is Easter right on the first day of April next year? Isn't it a little too early for that?
     
  13. The Zodiac

    The Zodiac God's Lonely Man

    What's the buzz? Tell me what's a'happening?!?!
     
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  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that JCS is and will remain ALW's best work.

    Everything about it is not only exceptionally creative in concept, but in its execution. The entire cast and musician's are exceptional!

    And, BOLD of him, as a relatively unknown, to even to attempt such an ambitious project. The concept was entirely unknown, until a short few years earlier.

    From Wikipedia:

    "A rock opera is a collection of rock music songs with lyrics that relate to a common story. Rock operas typically are released as concept albums and are not scripted for acting, which distinguishes them from operas, although several have been adapted as rock musicals. The use of various character roles within the song lyrics is a common storytelling device. The success of the rock opera genre has inspired similar works in other musical styles..."

    Tommy by The Who, was another favorite work of mine.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that, although Tommy was not the first rock opera, it was the first album to be billed as such..."

    Now, I am a lifelong fan of musicals and movie music in general. About thirty years ago, I too my friend's three elementary school children, down to the Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts (think Jackie Gleason), to see Cats. I hated every minute of it.

    It is a lot like JCS, it is something that one has to truly understand, in order to appreciate it. One day, you may, hard to tell, like anything, not everything is for everyone. Cats is adapted from a book of children's poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Suggest that if you wish to give it another try, then get the DVD, it features an international, all star cast. It is filmed (or videoed) in a theater, just like, you are sitting in the theater and watching a performance. Look up the lyrics online and print them out. This way, you will have a "libretto" to follow the play.

    I have seen many different productions of JCS, on Broadway as will as the original stage small stage production.

    I used to play it for my friends, through the A7's I had, when I was sixteen.
     
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  15. The nuns at our Catholic school played the original album (1970) with the brown cover. Immediate fan of the original. Great cast. The Broadway version was pretty good too but the original album was more rock and less Broadway.
     
  16. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Why???? WHY????
     
  17. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    :laughup::laughup::laughup::laughup::laughup:
     
  18. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Murray Head and Ian Gillan were both incredible. Some seriously good screaming going on. Not to mention one of the grooviest all-time guitar licks.

     
  19. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    ... why not? People do new productions of Jesus Christ Superstar all the time. It's a musical like any other, it's meant to be performed.
     
  20. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Show the film! No need to see another stupid remake of something that has already been done! NO THANK YOU!
     
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  21. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Tell that to all the people who perform JCS around the world every year....
     
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  22. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    Location:
    Amarillo,Texas
    I was just talking about this, to our local ballet and community theater. Both of them have done it here, and very well. I'm looking forward to this.
     
  23. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    Interesting question, actually. I adore the original London cast album like many here, but the timing is...interesting. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ, which of course is completely ignored in the Webber/Rice storyline. Any discussion as to why they did that ventures into religious discussion, so I'll leave it at that.
     
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  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Ohhh, good. Who's gonna play Mary Magdeline? Haille Stanfield? Halsey? (don'tsayLadyGagadon'tsayLadyGagadon'tsayLadyGaga...) Whomever it is, just make sure you ruin all the parts with artists only 14-year-old girls and stay-at-home-moms will recognize.

    1) The justaposition of the album cover of the original with the planning of yet another of NBC's "Let's Put On A Show" musicals doesn't mean they're going to aspire to that level...they just found a copy on eBay.

    2) At least the air date is credible.
     
  25. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I think the short answer is, they wanted to portray Jesus as a man, and didn't want to say one way or the other if he was resurrected or was really the Son of God.

    Including it would turn the piece from a musical about Christ to a Christian musical, if you see the difference. They weren't coming from that angle.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017

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