Sara Bareilles is about to take another step in her acting career, one of biblical proportions.
The singer-songwriter is set to play Mary Magdalene opposite John Legend in the upcoming NBC production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.
Tony and Grammy nominee Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for and appeared in the current Broadway musical Waitress, expressed her enthusiasm for the new project in a statement: “To say I’m excited about this performance is the understatement of the century. This score and this musical have been a part of me from a very young age and it will be one of the great thrills of my life to sing these iconic songs. It’s incredible to see the beloved medium of musical theatre being embraced by television audiences, and this cast and creative team is extraordinary. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the project!”
In addition to Legend as the title character, the network announced in December that Alice Cooper would be playing King Herod, while David Leveaux, a Tony Award nominee, would be directing the production. The original musical, based on the final week of Jesus’ life, opened on Broadway in 1971, and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote it, will executive produce the event.
“It’s an absolute thrill to have a Tony-nominated composer as our Mary Magdalene,” Lloyd Webber said in a statement. “Not only is Sara Bareilles a brilliant songwriter and lyricist, she commanded the Broadway stage in her show Waitress. Being able to write a successful musical isn’t easy. Being able to write AND star in the leading role in that musical, on Broadway, twice, is something very few people can say they have on their CV. Couple that with her emotionally charged live Oscar and Grammy performances and America can rest easy knowing that Bareilles is going to nail it when we go live April 1 on NBC.”
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which will be a concert staging of this iconic rock opera in front of a live audience at the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn, New York, is set to air on Easter Sunday, April 1.