When NBC announced back in May that their next live musical broadcast would be of Jesus Christ Superstar, we have to admit, we were a bit skeptical. Could a modern broadcast television production possibly live up to the greatness of one of the best musicals ever? Well, here's the buzz: they're on the right track. According to a report from THR, legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper will play King Herod in the production.
Additionally, David Leveaux will direct the production, which is set to broadcast on Easter Sunday.
"Alice Cooper, whose theatricality is the stuff of legend, is the perfect rock star to play Herod in our live production," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt of the casting. "Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote a showstopping musical number for Herod, and we all look forward to the 'King of Shock Rock' taking on the King of Judea. As the casting for Superstar ramps up, we can feel the excitement building for this brand new concert experience of what has long been considered the original rock musical."
Herod is featured in just one song in Jesus Christ Superstar, the inventively named King Herod's Song. Manfred Mann vocalist Michael David d'Abo recorded the song on the original album version, but Joshua Mostel turned in a flamboyant and transformative performance in the movie. If anyone has hopes of living up to it, we suppose it would be Alice Cooper.
So we're upgrading our skepticism to cautious optimism. Your move, NBC.