Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is joining NBC's live television adaptation of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber's rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Bareilles will be portraying the female lead, Mary Magdalene opposite another music icon, John Legend, who will be playing Jesus Christ. The live musical production is aptly scheduled to air on April 1st , Easter Sunday and will be shot in Marcy Armory Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.
Taking on the role of Mary Magdalene means Bareilles will be singing the musical's most iconic number, the song "I Don't Know How To Love Him". The original version was first performed by Yvonne Elliman who also went on to play Magdalene in the 1973 film version of the movie. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her part.
Other music icons have also released their own interpretations of the song through the years, including Helen Reddy and Shirley Bassey. So Bareilles has some large shoes to fill, but NBC has faith in her skills.
“We’re overjoyed to have Sara Bareilles play Mary Magdalene and I can guarantee that her interpretation of the standard ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ will become an instant classic,” Robert Greenblatt, NBC's Entertainment Chairman said. “I was lucky enough to see Sara in Waitress and she gave as moving and as beautifully sung a performance as I’ve seen on a Broadway stage in a long time,” he added referring to the musical that Bareilles wrote the songs and lyrics for. She would also take on the lead role for a little bit eventually.
Bareilles is overjoyed that she was picked for the part of Magdalene. “To say I’m excited about this performance is the understatement of the century. This score and this musical have been a part of my life from a very young age and it will be one of the great thrills of my life to sing these iconic songs. It’s incredible to see the beloved medium of musical theater being embraced by television audiences, and this cast and creative team is extraordinary. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the project!” she said.
Well, we're certainly excited to see her play the iconic role!