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John Legend Brings a Lot More Than You Think to Jesus Christ Superstar

John Legend Brings a Lot More Than You Think to Jesus Christ Superstar

International pop superstar John Legend didn’t seem like the most likely candidate to play Jesus in NBC’s  Jesus Christ Superstar Live! In talking to the soft spoken star, he admitted that doing a Broadway show has always been in the back of his mind. In high school he performed lead roles in Big River, Fiddler on the Roof, Your a Good Man Charlie Brown and Godspell. He was also a producer on last seasons Tony Award winning revival Jitney.

John Legend,NBC

John Legend as Jesus Photo by James Dimmock for NBC

Coming from a religious background, Legend grew up in the El Bethel Temple in Springfield, Ohio. His grandfather was the pastor and his mother the music minster. John  use to call most people CME’s, meaning they only went to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live

The costume for John Legend as Jesus

John is thrilled to be taking on this role which he sees as modern America. “Most actors who have portrayed Jesus look like they came from Oslo, where in reality they would have been a different shade. I am looking forward to singing Gethsemane. I find this song truly powerful. Jesus is on a awesome mission and these are his moments of doubt, before that quest. This show has reconnected me and inspired me to live a life of inspiration that impacts other people’s lives. In interpreting this message you become a way and a path to light. I pray that through this piece, that love, charity and sacrifice come through. This is a revolutionary love”.

Alice Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, John Legend

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT — Pictured: (l-r) Alice Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, John Legend at the Paley Center for Media in New York on Monday, February 26, 2018 — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airs on Easter Sunday and will be filmed in front of a live audience at the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn. I am expecting  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless rock score to soar with a 32 piece orchestra and rock band.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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