After months of rehearsals, John Legend steps out as the Son of God in NBC's live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar, on Sunday, April 1.
The show, first announced last December, also featured Sara Bareilles (Waitress) as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton) as Judas Iscariot, Ben Daniels (All My Sons) as Pontius Pilate, and Alice Cooper as King Herod.
The broadcast has received mixed reviews. While the set, the camerawork, the big numbers can be a little excessive, the performances by its lead and supporting stars were the highlights of the production.
Legend, who played the titular character, was truly the superstar of the show. E! said that the singer/actor completely defied all expectations. Bareilles too was a great addition to the production. The singer-songwriter's voice, the site agrees, can make any songs sound like "heavenly ear therapy."
Meanwhile, Vulture counts Dixon's performance as Judas Iscariot as one of the show's highs.
"Judas was always the real star of the show, and Dixon's glowering, raging, Aaron Burr-style made it all the clearer, right up through the messy, sweaty, furious suicide," critics wrote. "Bonus points for all the times he had to seethe with anger while resting amidst the scaffolding. Super extra bonus points for absolutely killing 'Superstar' in his sparkly pants and tank, the best performance (and look) of the night."
Amid all these seasoned stage and big screen actors, to Variety, Cooper as King Herod was the true superstar of the night. He came out in fiery orange suit, but his performance was even brighter and hotter than his costume.
"His rendition of 'King Herod's Song' was a star turn of the highest order, and a delightful amount of fun," the publication stated.
Chrissy Teigen Live Tweets 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
However, the one critic that matters most is from supermodel and television host Chrissy Teigen. On Sunday, she tweeted while watching the production, and she has a lot to say.
One particular critic is Jesus Christ's deep V-neck shirt.
I have a feeling whoever has the deepest V will be crucified — christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) April 2, 2018
THE V'S. THEY ARE A'DEEPENING — christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) April 2, 2018
The 32-year-old also shared some behind-the-scenes secrets from the production. On Twitter, fans learned that she brought her and Legend's daughter, Luna, to the rehearsals and met some of the lepers. She also shared that Legend was actually worried about his performance of the song "Gethsemane," arguably the toughest song in the whole musical.
He won't say it but I know he was nervous for that song. So good!! — christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) April 2, 2018
Apparently, there is no reason to be worried because Legend killed it!
That high note, though... #JesusChristSuperstarLive pic.twitter.com/yq4sNSPtwi — KARE 11 (@kare11) April 2, 2018