Alice Cooper on Being Typecast as Herod in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
Alice Cooper has spent the better part of a half-century perfecting the character of rock’s greatest villain. When he’s not singing dark-hued anthems like “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out,” he mimes battling and killing his costumed stagehands onstage until he receives his comeuppance when he’s fastened to a life-sized guillotine onstage. He nearly begs for stereotypes when it comes to extracurricular pursuits like acting, such as his impending role of King Herod in the NBC live production ofJesus Christ Superstarthis weekend.
Then I thought to myself, ‘I’m either Judas or Herod, right?’ And they addressed him as ‘Herod.’ That’s when I realized what was about to happen.'” He bursts out laughing.
The song “King Herod’s Song” – a lighthearted, almost vaudevillian melody ridiculing Christ’s abilities – was included on a London cast recording of the show in 1996, but he did not perform it onstage.
The song was described as the “definitive” rendition of the song in the liner notes of a recent anthology of Superstarcomposer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s compositions.
- “Of course, the Alice Cooperway is the traditional rock method of doing things, which was fantastic.
- Before rehearsals for the new production began, Cooper spoke with Rolling Stone about why he decided to repeat the role.
- Have you been a fan of Jesus Christ Superstar since you were a child?
- It was a fantastic piece of writing, and it was executed well.
- Is it difficult for you to see yourself in the role of Herod because you are a Christian?
- When I read the Passion Play and think about how Jesus was treated, there are times when I become incredibly angry in the back of my mind, and it makes you feel the same way.
- It’s possible that I’d have a more difficult time portraying Judas than I would playing Herod.
When it was first released, you were just getting started as a pioneer in combining rock and drama, and you had mastered the technique by the mid-Seventies.
What we were doing with the Welcome to My Nightmareshows and other such events was putting on these massive, nearly Broadway-scale plays.
“Herod’s Song” is ideal for you since it is a type of vaudeville performance.
In order to prepare for the job, I kept asking myself, “Who could possibly be the most cynical character that this could possibly be?” And Alan Rickman is someone who I keep coming back to.
So that’s the approach I’d want to take.
Was there anything in particular that you recall from when you recorded it in 1996?
He is a really dear friend of mine, and I felt quite honored when he approached me with the question.
I wanted to keep it rock and make it seem like it might have been on one of my albums, so I wrote it in that style.
However, I’m not sure if they’d want to go about it that way.
He’s someone I’ve known for years and years.
Consequently, I would bring him items such as test pressings from Pretties for You to give him feedback.
He’s a really pleasant individual.
The one thing that he, I, and Bernie Taupin, who was my greatest buddy, had in common was that we were all lyricists, just like him.
And I respected everything he had accomplished in the past, especially the fact that everything he touched with Andrew was a smashing success; he was the ideal partner for Andrew’s personality.
90% of the time, I appreciate individuals who are enjoying themselves, and he seems like one of those gentlemen.
You might wind up losing your job if you say the wrong thing at the wrong moment with some of these individuals, so be careful what you say.
It is possible to employ a plethora of excellent lines in this piece.
For example, Mel Brooks’s “It’s a good day to be a king” is a nice example.
It’s as if he’s addressing him as king but not actually meeting with him.
Do you have any trepidation about performing this on live television?
One advantage for me is that I am more comfortable performing in front of a live audience than I would be if I were only performing in a studio.
Have you had the opportunity to meet John Legend?
I believe he is the ideal person to portray Jesus.
When you’re Jesus Christ, you have to have a certain sense of calm about you, and I believe that he does.
It is essential that you have the appropriate chemistry between your responsibilities.
And that drives Herod insane because Herod is looking for a reply from this individual.
At the end, he just recognizes that he isn’t going to be able to break this egg.
I’m just familiar with John Legend.
Oh, she’s going to be fantastic.
Whoever plays Peter has to be someone who is a little bit brash and outgoing in their personality.
Every one of the other disciples retreated into the background, while Peter stood firm and said, “I’ll be by your side no matter what.” And, of course, he denies him on three separate occasions.
Somebody like Sebastian Bach might be interesting to see live in concert.
Ted Nugent would be good, too.
Oh, did he? He’s perfect for that. If they could get Marilyn Manson to play Judas, that would be good. Well, that would be … Typecasting. Watch John Legend, Alice Cooper and other members of the cast offer a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming live production ofJesus Christ Superstar.
Alice Cooper Stars in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
The character of rock’s greatest villain has been honed by Alice Cooper over the course of the last half century. Every night onstage, he mimes fighting and killing his costumed stagehands while singing dark-hued hits like “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out” until he gets his comeuppance when he’s strapped to a life-sized guillotine and hanged from the ceiling. As a result, when it comes to extracurricular activities such as acting, such as his upcoming portrayal of King Herod in NBC’s live performance ofJesus Christ Superstarthis weekend, he almost begs to be stereotyped.
- And I said, ‘I’m either Judas or Herod,’ you understand?
- That’s when I realized what was about to happen.” He bursts out laughing at the thought of the situation.
- The song “King Herod’s Song” – a playful, almost vaudevillian tune mocking Christ’s powers – was included on a London cast recording of the production in 1996, though he did not perform it on stage.
- To quote Lloyd Webber, “That was an ingenious way of doing it, and it will be fun to see him on the NBC show,” says Lloyd Webber in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
- I thought he was excellent.” The new performance, which will air on Easter Sunday, April 1st, will star John Legend as Jesus and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene.
- Cooper is currently on tour and has recently announced new summer dates for the show.
- When it first came out, there was a lot of debate about whether or not it was blasphemous or not.
Godspell had come out around the same time, but I enjoyed how they went in a different direction from one another.
‘No way,’ I say.
And at the same time, you realize, “Oh, wait a minute, I’m portraying one of the guys who is responsible for all of this.” It’s a work of art, and it’s taken directly from the Bible, which is how I view it.
The role of the man who stabs him in the back would be difficult to perform.
However, it wasn’t quite as spectacular as the movie Superman.
Due to the fact that it was our version of Broadway, we attempted to create a spooky, vaudeville atmosphere.
Yup, and it comes out as incredibly cynical, just like he is.
Moreover, Alan Rickman is a character that I keep returning to.
I intend to proceed in this manner.
Which aspects of the recording from 1996 do you recall best?
When he asked, I was quite flattered since he is a very dear friend of mine.
In order for it to sound like it might have been on one of my albums, I needed to preserve the rock element in it.
It is possible, although I am not certain, that they would like to go about it in this manner.
His name is John, and I’ve known him for a long time.
Consequently, I would bring him items such as test pressings from Pretties for You to share with him.
In addition to being an extremely nice person, Has he shared his opinions on how Herod should be shown with you at this point?
Tim paid more attention to my lyrics than to the music, and he admired the way I wrote in every situation I encountered.
His presence at rehearsal means that when I walk in the door, I can just say, “I can take it three or four different ways, but how do you want me to do it?” He’ll almost certainly be there for practice, so when I go in, I can simply say, “How do you want me to do it?” I really enjoy his sense of humour.
- In his opinion, it’s not that serious.
- They are not forgiving.
- Throughout this piece, there are several excellent lines that might be used.
- For example, Mel Brooks’s “It’s a fantastic day to be a king.” He addressed Jesus as “Hey Jesus, you’ve got to do better than that.” This is similar to his calling him “king” but not actually meeting in it.
- How apprehensive are you about performing on live television?
- The reason for this is that I spend 99 percent of my time in front of a live audience.
The Grammys and other events where I’ve seen him have been a blur for me.
A calm and collected temperament characterizes him.
That is a role in which I cannot envision somebody being really aggressive.
As Jesus, he is quite silent if he’s portraying him in the manner described in the Bible.
To get under his skin and push him into a rage, he employs all means at his disposal.
As of right now, I haven’t even figured out who the other members of the cast are.
In the role of Mary Magdalene, Sara Bareilles will be seen.
I’m curious whether they’re going to load it with rock and roll stars or whatever.
Only he was the gung-ho kind, and that was him.
Who do you think would make an excellent Peter?
Because he would command such a large amount of attention, Ted Nugent might also be an excellent choice.
Oh, he did, didn’t he?
I think it would be fantastic if they could cast Marilyn Manson in the role of Judas.
That would be a good example. Typecasting. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video with John Legend, Alice Cooper, and other members of the cast discussing the forthcoming live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in which they will perform.
Alice Cooper Draws Praise for Role in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
Alice Cooper has spent the better part of a half century perfecting the character of rock’s greatest villain. When he’s not singing dark-hued anthems like “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out,” he mimes battling and killing his costumed stagehands onstage until he receives his comeuppance when he’s fastened to a life-sized guillotine. He almost begs for stereotypes when it comes to extracurricular activities like acting, such as his upcoming portrayal of King Herod in the NBC live performance ofJesus Christ Superstarthis weekend.
- ‘I’m either Judas or Herod,’ I said.
- “I said, ‘OK, I saw it coming.'” He cracks a grin.
- The song “King Herod’s Song” – a playful, almost vaudevillian tune mocking Christ’s powers – was included on a London cast recording of the production in 1996, though he did not perform it onstage.
- “I thought it was a brilliant way to do it, and it will be fun to see him on the NBC show,” Lloyd Webber says in an interview with Rolling Stone.
- “He was outstanding.” When it airs on Easter Sunday, April 1st, the new performance will star John Legend as Jesus and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene.
- Cooper is currently on tour and has recently announced new summer dates.
- When it first came out, there was some debate over whether it was blasphemous or authentic.
Godspell had come out around the same time, but I enjoyed the way they went in a different direction.
No, no, and again no.
And at the same time, you realize, “Oh, wait a minute, I’m portraying one of the men that does this.” I look at it just as a work of art, and it’s a straight quotation from the Bible in my opinion.
It would be difficult to portray the antagonist who stabs him in the back.
However, it was not quite as spectacular as Superstar.
Except that it was our version of Broadway, so we attempted to make it a terrifying, vaudeville-style production.
Yup, and it comes off as very cynical, and he himself comes across as really cynical.
He would have made an excellent Herod.
“We want you to do it vaudeville,” the director could say, or “We want you to do it much darker and scarier,” so it all depends on what they want me to do.
Tim Rice had requested me to take up the task.
“I want you to do it the way Alice would do it,” he stated.
I wanted it to sound like it belonged on one of my albums, so I kept it rock-oriented.
But I’m not sure they’d want to go about it that way.
I’ve known him for a long time.
As a result, I would bring him items such as test pressings from Pretties for You.
He’s a really kind man.
The one thing that he, I, and Bernie Taupin, who was my best buddy, had in common was that we were all lyricists.
And I adored everything he had accomplished previously, particularly the fact that everything he touched with Andrew was a smashing success; he was the ideal partner for Andrew.
I usually admire folks that are having a good time 90% of the time, and he appears to be one of those men.
If you utter the wrong thing at the wrong moment with some of these people, it’s the end of the day for them.
It is possible to employ a plethora of fantastic lines in this piece.
For example, Mel Brooks’s “It’s a pleasure to be king” is a nice example.
It’s almost as though he’s addressing him as king while not actually meeting with him.
Do you have any trepidation about performing this on live television?
One thing that works in my favor is that I am more comfortable performing in front of a live audience than I would be if I were only performing in a studio.
Have you had the pleasure of meeting John Legend?
I believe he is the best candidate to portray Jesus.
Being Jesus Christ necessitates a particular sense of calm, and I believe he possesses this.
It’s essential that you have the correct chemistry between your characters.
And that drives Herod insane, since Herod is looking for a reply from this individual.
At the end, he just accepts that he is not going to be able to break this egg.
I only know one John Legend.
Oh, she’s going to be wonderful.
Whoever portrays Peter has to be someone who is a little bit boisterous and a little bit outspoken.
All of the other disciples faded into the background, while Peter stood firm, saying, “I’ll be at your side no matter what.” And, of course, he refuses him on three different occasions.
The presence of someone like Sebastian Bach may be intriguing.
Even Ted Nugent would do nicely here and there.
I get what you mean.
A role for Judas would be fantastic if they could get Marilyn Manson to portray him.
That would be a good example of. Typecasting. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video with John Legend, Alice Cooper, and other members of the cast discussing the forthcoming live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in which they will appear.
Twitter Has All Good Things to Say About Alice Cooper as King Herod in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
Jesus Christ Superstar Live! featured Alice Cooper in the role of King Herod. Patrick Randak is a correspondent with NBC. NBC’s live televised production ofJesus Christ Superstarfeatured Alice Cooper as King Herod, and the crowd erupted in laughter when he delivered his lines on Sunday. He also captivated Twitter, where fans were quick to make the name of his character’s part buzz on the social media platform.
View the most recent videos, charts, and news. “Alice Cooper?! What are you talking about?” When the rock musician made a surprise appearance in the rock opera, one fan said, “This is the finest thing I’ve ever seen,” while another said, “I’ve never been happier in my whole life.” My yearly family nativity will no longer include any other characters but Herod, who will be dressed in THAT outfit and THOSE boots. “There’s also a walking stick with a skull on it.” “I am LOVING THIS!” another person said on Twitter in response to his interpretation on Herod.
- See what the broad consensus on Twitter had to say about his interpretation on Herod’s song in the video below.
- Arlene Rios (@AlyRios) tweets about Jesus Christ Superstar Live.
- This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed— natalie, I suppose.
- I’ve never felt happier in my whole life.
- In addition to a walking stick with a skull on it.
- I’m in LOVE with this!
- April 2, 2018 — K Hoover (@Hoovereeno) with the hashtag JesusChristSuperstarLive.
- Victoria Andujar (@VIAndujar) has tweeted about JesusChristSuperstarLive.
- zoe (@walshiepompeo) tweets about JesusChristSuperstarLive.
- JesusChristSuperstarLivepic.twitter.com/86eAchXaR0 Thatgirl lynn (@spoopymermaid) has shared a post.
Tuesday, April 2, 2018 AT ALICE COOPER’S INSTRUCTIONS JesusChristSuperstarpic.twitter.com/yK8mDUbDUo Broadway.com (@broadwaycom) on Twitter: Tuesday, April 2, 2018 Get weekly roundups delivered directly to your inbox. Subscribe
Watch Alice Cooper in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
A train wreck could have resulted from the decision by NBC to stage aJesus Christ Superstarrevival for Easter, and then broadcast it live on television. Instead, audiences and critics alike praised the broadcast last night, with Alice Cooper’s performance as King Herod garnering some of the most ecstatic reactions. Cooper’s scene-stealing performance, which you can see below, prompted a flurry of tweets from fans, with one stating, “Cooper is the best actor alive!” “My yearly family nativity will no longer include any other characters but Herod, who will be dressed in THAT suit and THOSE boots.
- In addition to his prior performances as King Herod, Cooper sang the role at a performance caught on a 2000 recording with the cast of the 1996 revival, which was previously reported.
- He’s pretty cynical, and it’s really cynical,” Cooper said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
- He would have been a fantastic Herod, in my opinion.
- Take a look at the whole list of dates that have been revealed so far.
Shock Rocker Alice Cooper Takes On a King in Jesus Christ Superstar
When Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice come knocking on your door, you don’t hesitate to say yes. On the occasion of the recording of Jesus Christ Superstar in the studio, Alice Cooper, the iconic rock and roll singer whose songs have included “School’s Out” and “Welcome to My Nightmare,” accepted a call from Rice, a longtime friend, and agreed to perform “King Herod’s Song” on the album. The film’s director, Tim Cooper, recalls that he intended it to be sardonic and intimidating at the same time, “with a little more bite to it.” For a musician who was known for bringing guillotines and electric chairs onstage during his shows, this was no big deal.
- And, once again, the Godfather of Shock Rock couldn’t say no to the request.
- Photo courtesy of Peter Kramer/NBC For the sake of clarity, this interview has been reduced and modified.
- It began around the same time when we were essentially breaking out, in 1970-71.
- You didn’t have much time to take notice of what was going on in your environment.
- When I started hearing the tunes, I began to understand what was going on.
- What are your thoughts on King Herod and his position in the Bible?
- The fact that they sing rock and roll might seem strange if you were to consider it to be a whole theological exercise, or a time piece.
Herod himself, I believe, was a depraved individual who slaughtered every male kid.
Herod, on the other hand, is a deeply divided guy.
And then there’s this person who claims to be “the king of the Jews,” and he starts doing miracles.
The only things he possesses are paranoia and ego, and that is exactly how I intend to portray him.
I’d want to project a little nervousness.
After 50 years in the industry, I believe it’s intriguing to be given the opportunity to do something you have never done before.
It’s a difficult song to sing.
I understand the mindset; it’s simply a matter of doing it correctly.
Adding the theatricality of your Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert experience will enhance your travelling.
What I do onstage is pretty similar to what I do in real life.
Having written the lyrics and directed the production of Welcome to My Nightmare, when we try to perform it, I glance around at my cast and say, “Allow us to give them a nightmare.” In order for dancers to emerge from beneath the bed, we need a bed that will roll down and be large enough to accommodate them.
- Rock & roll is a free-for-all where there are no restrictions regarding what may and cannot happen.
- The musical Nightmare should be performed on Broadway.
- At one time, we traveled to 65 cities in 72 days.
- You should start off with Nightmare and let it run for its two hours before doing seven or eight Alice Cooper classics as a rock performance with a band onstage and playing them at the same loudness as you would hear at a normal rock concert for the encore.
That would be really fulfilling, in my opinion. Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert features performances by Alice Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, and John Legend. Photo courtesy of Peter Kramer/NBC Loading.
The performers of Easter’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ had their own hallelujah moments
It is fair to say that NBC’s presentation of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 rock opera musical “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” which was televised from the Armory theater in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg on Easter Sunday, was a rousing success. The rock ‘n’ religion revival, which was visually ambitious (if occasionally audio-challenged, thanks to an overenthusiastic audience of 1,200), drew nearly 10 million television viewers, who were treated to performances by superstars such as John Legend as Jesus Christ and Alice Cooper as King Herod.
- “It was a significant step forward for us,” adds Meron.
- ” We were completely unprepared for the overwhelmingly positive reception from the audience, which was a touch overwhelming.” (NBC) >> WATCH: Video Q & A sessions with this season’s most exciting contenders » In addition, the reviewers were complimentary.
- Dixon’s performance as Judas included outstanding pieces like as ‘Superstar,’ which needed athleticism and some major soulful belting on Dixon’s part.
- According to reports in The Envelope, here’s how some of them witnessed the incident.
- We would sing songs from musicals, and one of the pieces we performed was an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, according to him.
- “I was raised in a religious family with many pastors,” says Legend, “but it’s also essential to consider about how Andrew and Tim felt about him, not simply how religious persons think about him,” adds Legend.
In Legend’s opinion, “anyone who thinks for one second about where Jesus was born and reared would quickly realize that he does not look like the Nordic folks who have played him in the past.” “The objective was to have a cast that looked like America, and to have a varied ensemble.” One more hallelujah: “I managed to go through without making any poetic mistakes,” he says with a grin.
- In my childhood, I was raised as a Catholic, and I remember being captivated by the hymn ‘Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)’; it had an emotional impact on me.
- “The setting in which she lives in this play corresponds to a lot of the religious stories that we are all familiar with,” she explains.
- The thing about Mary that I admire most is that she is so uncomplicated: she is a mirror of purity and love.” Bonus: While Bareilles truly wanted to keep Mary’s garment, she ended up taking another element of her costume instead: the hat.
- I’m not sure I should tell anyone, but I like them.” King Herod is played by Alice Cooper (NBC) Cooper first saw the musical while on tour in the 1970s, and he later recorded the song “King Herod’s Song” for a London cast recording of the play in 1996.
- According to him, “Tim Rice was looking for a bit more venom than the one they had previously.” He wanted Herod to be a little more realistic in his outlook.
- The band desired a stronger rock-and-roll sound in this rendition.
In his opinion, “if you’re going to have a villain, make him an arrogant one who’s very much in love with himself and who treats the audience with contempt.” “My presentation is a mix of vaudeville and heavy rock, and it’s entirely improvised.” As a result, I informed the director that I was interested in playing that role.” Bonus: Herod’s gold silk outfit was covered with oil-painting prints of all of his victims, which was a hallelujah moment.
From what I hear, my outfit accounted for almost one-third of the total cost of the entire cast, he adds.
Judas, the antihero: In his words, “my lofty objective was to get people to have a different opinion on someone they thought they knew.” “It’s a perspective I wish we could adopt more often in our interactions with individuals in our immediate environment.” Davison sees connections between Judas and the character he played in the Broadway production of “Hamilton,” Aaron Burr, in “Hamilton.” According to him, they “have some of the same features.” “‘Hamilton’ is the name of the program, but you see a lot of it from Burr’s point of view; Aaron is the one who shot him, and he’s the most dangerous weapon in our nation’s armory.” Bonus for singing hallelujah: He did not shave his head in preparation for the role: “God made that decision for me eight or nine years ago,” says the author of the book.
Alice Cooper Cast as King Herod in NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live!’
Alice Cooper, the legendary rock and roll singer, has been cast as the flamboyant King Herod in NBC’s staged rock concert production ofJesus Christ Superstar Live! David Leveaux, a British theatrical director who has been nominated for five Tony Awards, will also appear in the program, which will show on Easter Sunday, April 1. In the words of Robert Greenblatt, chairman of the board of NBC Entertainment, “Alice Cooper, whose theatricality is the stuff of legend, is the appropriate rock artist to play Herod in our live performance.” “We’re all looking forward to seeing the ‘King of Shock Rock’ take on the King of Judea in a spectacular musical piece written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.” With each round of casting for Superstar that is completed, we can sense the anticipation rising for this fresh new concert experience of what has long been regarded as the first rock musical.” Cooper is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.
- Over the course of his career, he has released 26 studio albums, nine of which have achieved platinum or gold status.
- When Lloyd Webber and Rice requested that he record “King Herod’s Song,” he agreed.
- Cooper’s songs have also appeared on various film and television soundtracks, both as a songwriter and as a vocalist, most notably in Netflix’sGLOW and HBO’sVinyl, among other projects.
- Leveaux has directed ten plays and two musicals for the Broadway stage, having previously worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Almeida Theatre, and the Donmar Warehouse in London’s Covent Garden.
- Some of his other Broadway credits includeElectra, Betrayal, Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie, Cyrano de Bergerac, Arcadia, andRomeo and Juliet, to name a few.
- Executive producers will include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron.
Rock Legend Alice Cooper Joins JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE!
For the first time in five decades, Alice Cooper has been cast as the flamboyant King Herod in NBC’s staged rock concert of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE!, which will air on Easter Sunday, April 1. Cooper, a seminal figure in rock ‘n’ roll whose compelling stage presence has made him a must-see for more than five decades, will portray the flamboyant King Herod. David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award nominee who has directed some of the most notable productions in the United Kingdom and on Broadway, will also be a part of the production.
Among those who will serve as executive producers for “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” are Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, andNeil Meron.
It’s hard not to become excited as the casting for ‘Superstar’ continues to progress, as the anticipation for this fresh new concert experience of what has long been regarded the first rock musical grows.” Cooper, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who has sold more than 50 million records worldwide, has released 26 studio albums over the course of his career, with nine of them earning platinum or gold certification.
- He achieved #1 and #2 on the Billboard Albums list with two of his most popular albums, “Billion Dollar Babies” (1973) and “School’s Out” (1972), on the Billboard Albums chart.
- Cooper’s globe concert tour, which included over 100 performances on five continents, came to a close in December 2017.
- Music by Cooper has appeared on several soundtracks for feature films and television shows in both his roles as songwriter and performer, most recently Netflix’s “GLOW,” HBO’s “Vinyl,” and many others.
- Leveaux has directed ten plays and two musicals for the Broadway stage, having previously worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Almeida Theatre, and the Donmar Warehouse in London’s Covent Garden.
- “Electra,” “Betrayal,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Arcadia,” and “Romeo and Juliet” are among the other Broadway productions in which she has appeared.
- 1 on the Billboard charts in 1971, and the show eventually found its way to the stage.
- The Mark HellingerTheatre on Broadway hosted the premiere of the 1971 musical, which featured Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas.
- Lloyd Webber received the Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer for his work on The Phantom of the Opera.
- It has been performed in more than 20 countries and has been translated into 18 different languages so far.
The film was directed by Academy Award winner Norman Jewison and stars Ted Neeley in the lead role. Production companies Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions, and Zadan/Meron Productions will collaborate on “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!”
Alice Cooper Cast in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert; David Leveaux Signs On as Director
Alice Cooper is a rock and roll singer from the United Kingdom. Featured image courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images King Herod in the NBC production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert will be played by Alice Cooper, a legendary figure in rock and roll whose captivating stage presence has made him a must-see for more than five decades. Alice Cooper has been cast as the flamboyant King Herod. David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award-nominated theatrical director, will also be a part of the production.
As the casting for Superstar continues to ramp up, we can sense the anticipation growing for this brand-new concert experience based on what has long been considered the first rock musical, Superstar.” Over the course of his career, Cooper has released 26 studio albums, nine of which have achieved platinum or gold status.
- His most recent studio album, “Paranormal,” was released in the middle of 2017.
- He recorded “King Herod’s Song” at the request of Lloyd Webber and Rice for the release of a cast album from the 1996 production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the United Kingdom in 2000.
- Other nominations for Leveaux’s work include: A Moon for the Misbegotten (1984), Anna Christie (1993), The Real Thing(2000), and Jumpers (2003), in addition to his Tony nomination for Best Direction of a Musical for Nine(2003) (2004).
- The 1971 musical premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway, where it received five Tony Award nominations.
- In 1973, a film version of the novel was released.
Rock royalty Alice Cooper brings menace to King Herod in live ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
“Jesus Christ Superstar” was being revived in London when Tim Rice called Alice Cooper some decades ago regarding the album for the production. Cooper agreed. His outrageous influence can be felt across a wide range of musical genres, from shock rock and heavy metal to punk. “He said, “I want the part of Herod to (be) a little bit more cynical and a little bit more threatening,” recalls the 70-year-old rock icon, who has had a profound impact on everything from shock rock and heavy metal to punk.
- The character will be played onstage during the live NBC broadcast of the rock opera by lyricist Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, which will take place 22 years after the first performance.
- Also appearing in the two-hour-plus production are John Legend as Jesus, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, and “Hamilton” Broadway veteran Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Judas in the production.
- “Jesus Christ Superstar” was released in 1970 as an original concept album that finally reached the top of the charts in the United States.
- A film adaptation, released in 1973, featured the iconic trio of Ted Neeley as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Elliman, reprising her role as Mary Magdalene.
- The play has only had two Broadway revivals, one in 2000 that broadcast on PBS’s “Great Performances” the following year, and another in 2012 that started as a production at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, among other venues.
- “We had plenty of time to do nothing except tour and write music.” “I don’t think I ever watched television, even when I was younger,” he remembers.
- His father was a preacher, and his grandpa was an evangelist, according to him.
“I’m the prodigal son,” he adds with a sprinkling of pride.
All of my pals were members of the church.
“I had done all I could think of and suddenly realized that what I needed was right back where I had started from.” Cooper has spoken candidly about how his conversion to Christianity assisted him in his recovery from alcoholism.
“Herod is like a whirling ball of paranoia and ego, which is why it’s so much fun to portray him,” Cooper adds of the character.
A humorous relief break in the middle of such a dramatic tune may be compared to the upbeat “You’ll Be Back” from the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” And that’s the song, which was sung by King George III to his American colonists and which sounds like a British invasion song from the 1960s.
“He begins off as a really narcissistic, larger-than-life individual.
He becomes more and more violent towards Jesus as time goes on.
“I believe you can see Herod transitioning from a ridiculous ego to a genuinely furious state and then again.” Cooper plans to wrap up the final leg of his current “Paranormal” tour only a few days before the premiere of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” He states that he favors the live format over the option of a taped show.
- Everyone on the stage is a performer in some way or another.
- “It is the audience that elevates you from decent to outstanding.” Cooper describes Legend’s portrayal of Jesus as having an ethereal aspect, which gives viewers a glimpse of what to anticipate on Sunday night.
- That’s exactly who Jesus was.
- “That was a wonderful complement from her,” she remarked.
- “I believe there is no way Alice could perform this without incorporating a little Alice into the mix,” says the author.
- “I’m looking for that rock star quality as well as that type of dark aspect,” he explained.
Cooper adds, “It’s important to remember that you’re not alone.” When Herod lived in this age, he would have been considered a glam rock star, according to the author. Julie Hinds, pop culture critic for the Detroit Free Press, may be reached at 313-222-6427 or [email protected].
‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert’
It’s possible that the controversial King Herod stated something along these lines 2,000 years ago: “No more Mr. Nice Guy.” Alternatively, you might say that you’ve arrived at my nightmare. As of today, NBC announced that Alice Cooper — yes, that Alice Cooper — would portray the ruler of Judea in its Easter Sunday performance of Jesus Christ Superstar Live!. David Leveaux, a British theatrical director, will also be in charge of the production. He is a five-time Tony nominee who has directed productions in the United Kingdom and on Broadway, including the 2003 revival of Nine and the 2008 production of Cyrano de Bergerac.
- This American rock band has recorded more than a half-dozen studio albums to date, some of which have achieved platinum status, including the chart-toppingBillion Dollar Babies in 1973 and its 1972 predecessorSchool’s Out.
- Films produced by Paramount Pictures During his career as an actor, Cooper has appeared in a number of films and television series, including a brief but memorable role inWayne’s World (where he exclaimed, “We’re not worthy!”) and playing the Sun King inSgt.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron will serve as executive producers for the production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live!
- King Herod was played by Josh Mostel in the 1973 film adaptation ofJesus Christ Superstar, while the part was first performed by Paul Ainsley in the 1971 Broadway production of the same name.
Rock icon Alice Cooper to play King Herod in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live!’
The role of King Harod in NBC’sJesus Christ Superstar Live! has been filled by legendary rock musician Alice Cooper. It was also reported that Tony Award-nominated director David Leveaux will also be a part of the live stage performance. Cooper has recorded 26 studio albums throughout the course of his career, which has resulted in the sale of over 50 million copies worldwide. The musician, who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is noted for his dramatic stage appearance on stage.
“We are all looking forward to the ‘King of Shock Rock’ taking on the King of Judea in a spectacular musical piece written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.” According to Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, “As the casting for ‘Superstar’ progresses, we can sense the anticipation growing for this fresh new concert experience of what has long been considered the first rock musical.” Jesus Christ Superstar, a Broadway mainstay, had its stage debut in 1971, after the success of the record of the same name, which peaked at number one on the Billboard charts.
The live show, which is based on the last week of Jesus’ life, will join other well-known stage productions that have been transferred to the small screen, includingHairspray, The Wiz, The Sound of Music, and Peter Pan.
The first episode of Jesus Christ Superstar Live! will air on NBC on Easter Sunday, April 1.