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Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert - Dress Rehearsal Sneak Peek (Photos)

Jesus Christ Superstar stars (L-R) Alice Cooper, Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon and John Legend
Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC
NBC’s highly anticipated special event “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” airs tonight live at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m. C on NBC. The production will take place in front of an audience at the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

"Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" stars John Legend as Jesus Christ, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Alice Cooper as King Herod, Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Jin Ha as Annas, Jason Tam as Peter and Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes. 

The production will be presented in a cncert style that is very different than a traditional stage production that NBC previously did with "The Wiz" and "The Sound of Music" which were produced by Neil Meron, Marc Platt and Craig Zadan.

"The basis of Jesus Christ Superstar was this live concert album," Meron said in an interview discussing the production. "It was a rock opera. And then when the album started coming out, when the album first came out unauthorized concert stagings of the piece starting popping up all over the US. I think that was [Jesus Christ Superstar composers] Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's original inclination was to have it done very, very concert-like. The Broadway production that was done in the early 70s kind of deflected from that and gave it a little bit more - a lot more theatricality which was very controversial at the time. But Andrew and Tim really wanted to go back to what the essence of the piece was which was presentational-like in front of a live audience and more concert-like."

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is based on the final week of Jesus’ life. The album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and made its way to the stage in 1971. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.

Check out some photos from the Dress Rehearsal Below: 

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