Following a triumphant opening weekend at London's 02 Arena, the 21st century re-invention of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" will be broadcast to select U.S. cinemas nationwide today, Oct. 29 and again on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. local time.
Presented by NCM Fathom Events, Omniverse Vision and The Broadway League, "Jesus Christ Superstar UK Rock Spectacular" was pre-recorded by Universal Pictures on Oct. 4 and tonight at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
The event features a star-studded line-up which includes award-winning musical comedian Tim Minchin – also the co-writer of West End smash musical "Matilda" – in the role of 'Judas Iscariot;' pop icon and former Spice Girl Melanie C as 'Mary Magdalene;' radio DJ Chris Moyles in his stage debut as 'King Herod;' and the winner of the UK's primetime ITV show "Superstar," Ben Forster, who was chosen by the British public to take on the title role of 'Jesus and Alexander Hanson as "Pontius Pilate" who was recently seen on Broadway in A Little Night Music. "Jesus Christ Superstar UK Rock Spectacular" will include a special historical retrospective, as well as interviews with cast members past and present.
"Jesus Christ Superstar UK Rock Spectacular" tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change). The event will be broadcast to more than 575 select movie theaters across the country through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.
"I have waited 42 years for 'Jesus Christ Superstar' to play arenas in the UK, and it is great to finally see the show as it was originally intended, as an arena rock opera," said Lloyd Webber. "I'm thrilled that Universal will be filming the new arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar for DVD and cinema release, which allows us to capture this amazing production and share it with the world!"
"Jesus Christ Superstar" is a worldwide phenomenon, portraying the story of the last seven days of Christ leading up to his crucifixion as seen through the eyes of 'Judas Iscariot,' and featuring hit songs such as "Superstar," "I Don't Know How To Love Him," "Heaven On Their Minds" and "Hosanna." Over 40 different cast recordings have been released in 19 different languages.
The first production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" was a U.S. arena tour in 1971. It then debuted on Broadway, and in 1972, UK fans finally got their chance to see this landmark show when it arrived at London's Palace Theatre – its run of eight years and over 3,000 performances smashed all box office records. Since then, "Jesus Christ Superstar" has rarely left the stage, with professional productions in 42 countries around the world and with around 300 amateur productions officially licensed each year.
"Fans have enjoyed this amazing musical for 40 years, but the 'Jesus Christ Superstar UK Spectacular' event promises to put a whole new spin on a time-honored classic," said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. "Movie theaters will be turned into concert arenas as this spectacular event rocks fans nationwide."
Universal Pictures filmed two nights of the 21-date arena tour, the first ever in the UK, for worldwide broadcasts to cinemas as well as DVD and Blu-ray™ release in early 2013 internationally, with the exception of the UK which will release in time for Christmas on November 19, 2012.
Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton