John Legend to play Jesus in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live!’

One Legend to another

John Legend is set to play the lead in an upcoming live production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The musician and actor will be taking on the titular role in a concert show set to be broadcast from Brooklyn, New York, next Easter (April 1).

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, first shown on Broadway in 1971, will now be brought to life in front of a live audience and broadcast through NBC.

Alice Cooper was cast as King Herod earlier this month.

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said: “We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus.”

He added: “This score demands a singer with an amazing range and an actor with great depth, and there isn’t anyone better to bring this story to a new audience.

“His casting is also groundbreaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”

Legend said: “I’m thrilled to join the cast of this production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.”

“It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance,” he added. 

“We’ve already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I’m certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”

Last year, Legend starred in the movie musical La La Land alongside Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Despite critical acclaim, some criticised the lack of diversity in the musical, noting that as one of the few people of colour, Legend’s character ‘Keith’ was portrayed as a “sell-out”.

Last week it was confirmed that Legend would join Kesha, Miley Cyrus and other music icons at a Grammy tribute show in honour of Sir Elton John.  

Elton John: I’m Still Standing – A Grammy Salute will take place at Madison Square Garden on January 30th.