Rock ’n’ roll icon Alice Cooper has been cast as the flamboyant King Herod in NBC’s staged rock concert of Jesus Christ Superstar Live! Also joining the special, which will air on Easter Sunday, April 1, is British theatre director David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award nominee.
“Alice Cooper, whose theatricality is the stuff of legend, is the perfect rock star to play Herod in our live production,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “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.”
Cooper is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who has sold more than 50 million records. He has released 26 studio albums over his career, with nine reaching platinum or gold status. In December 2017, Cooper finished his world concert tour that consisted of over 100 shows on five continents. He recorded “King Herod’s Song” at the request of Lloyd Webber and Rice for the 2000 release of a cast album from the 1996 production of Jesus Christ Superstar in the U.K.
Cooper’s songs have also been featured in numerous soundtracks for film and TV as both a songwriter and singer, most recently in Netflix’s GLOW and HBO’s Vinyl. As an actor, Cooper has appeared in more than two dozen productions, including films such as Tim Burton’s remake of Dark Shadows and in Wayne’s World.
Leveaux, who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida Theatre and Donmar Warehouse in London’s Covent Garden, has directed 10 plays and two musicals for Broadway. He directed the 2003 revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, and 2008’s revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner. Other Broadway credits of his include Electra, Betrayal, Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie, Cyrano de Bergerac, Arcadia and Romeo and Juliet.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live! will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Zadan/Meron Productions. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce.