"We're all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. "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."
If the performance goes well, it could put Legend in position to achieve the EGOT. Legend has 10 Grammys for his music, an Oscar for his song "Glory" from the movie Selma and a Tony for producing the Broadway show Jitney, which he won this year.
Legend will join previously announced cast member Alice Cooper, who's playing King Herod, in the live staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's beloved 1971 rock musical about the last week of Jesus' life. Lloyd Webber and Rice are producing, along with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have produced all of NBC's previous live musicals, and Marc Platt, who produced last Sunday's live staging of A Christmas Story for Fox as well as the movie La La Land, in which Legend acted.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! will air live on Sunday, April 1 from the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn.