With what's apparently a good day for Hamilton alumni casting news, Tony Award winner Brandon Victor Dixon has been cast as Judas in NBC's upcoming live performance broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar. The network also announced several other additions to the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, including: Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Jason Tam as Peter, Jin Ha as Annas and Swedish rock star Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes. The six new cast members will be joining singer/songwriter John Legend as Jesus Christ; singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene; and rock star Alice Cooper as King Herod.
Dixon took over the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton from original star Leslie Odom Jr., and would continue on in the role for nearly a year at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Before his turn in Hamilton, he won a Tony as a producer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2014. Dixon was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Harpo in The Color Purple in 2006; and in 2016, he was nominated again for his role as Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along. Dixon currently co-stars in the Starz series Power; and has appeared in The Good Wife and The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! is set to air on Easter Sunday, April 1st, and will be executive produced by Webber, Rice, Legend, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Alex Rudzinski. It will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions, and Zadan/Meron Productions.
From executive producers Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron comes NBC's next live musical spectacular, the groundbreaking rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE!" Set during the final week of Jesus' life, the story is told from the perspective of infamous betrayer Judas Iscariot.
As more and more followers flock to Jesus, Judas grows concerned that Jesus is becoming arrogant and losing sight of his principles. So when Jesus attacks the money changers in a temple, Judas finally turns on his teacher, setting both on a path to tragedy.
Originally conceived as a concept album that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the show eventually made its way to the stage in 1971 and garnered five Tony nominations in addition to winning a Drama Desk Award for Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Now this globally celebrated classic comes to NBC in 2018 for a one-of-a-kind live staging on Easter Sunday that's sure to amaze with jaw-dropping spectacle, an all-star cast of beloved recording artists and a fresh soundtrack featuring such hits as "Heaven on Their Minds," "I Don't Know How to Love Him" and "Superstar."
Created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the original Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus of Nazareth, and ran from October 1971 through July 1973. Director Norman Jewison helmed a film version of the rock opera in 1973, starring Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson as Jesus and Judas, respectively; with both receiving Golden Globes nominations in 1974 for their performances.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! continues NBC's most recent run of live musical specials, which has also included The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live!.