Classic rock opera sacrificed on the altar of television…
By Uncle Blurt
When I was but a wee Uncle, my Episcopal reverend (yeah, I know that’s a revelation about me, but shoot, read the Book of Revelations and it’s in there… I digress…) loaded up me and a bunch of my fellow teenage longhaired miscreants in a church van and took us to see the traveling stage production of the still-fairly-recent Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. At this late date I can’t recall who played the titular role, although it definitely wasn’t the original concept album vocalist, Ian Gillan, as he was too busy burning down opera houses in Europe with Deep Purple. But it was still an awesome experience.
Since then, I, and presumably many of you who clicked on this news item, have experienced myriad emotions as regards the scores of JCS productions. Where’s Ted Neely and Carl Anderson when you need them? Today’s announcement that the rock opera is now headed to the small screen – or technically, in 2018 – brought back a lot of memories, some awesome, some iffy, some just…
According to the Hollywood Reporter:
“[NBC] has ordered a live production of the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar that will premiere on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for the 1971 rock opera, will executive produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. While Zadan and Meron have exec produced every one of NBC’s live musical productions going back to The Sound of Music Live! in 2013, this marks a first for Webber, Rice and Platt. The latter most recently exec produced Fox’s Grease Live! in January 2016, which nabbed big ratings and won five Emmys, including one for Platt. (Platt also produced the smash movie musical La La Land.)
“Universal Television will produce with The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Storyline Entertainment.”