John Legend, Alice Cooper and Sara Bareilles Shine in New 'Jesus Christ Superstar' First-Look Featurette

John Legend in NBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert'
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

The GRAMMY-winning musician takes on the eponymous role of Jesus for NBC's upcoming live staging of the iconic biblical rock opera, airing Easter Sunday.

It's been two years since Fox staged a live production of The Passion, and now NBC is planning on bringing viewers a very different take on the life and death of the biblical Messiah with their staging of Jesus Chris Superstar Live in Concert.

On Wednesday, the network released a first-look featurette that goes behind the scenes of the production, as John Legend, who plays Jesus Christ, rehearses with his co-stars -- including Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas and Alice Cooper as King Herod.

"What an incredible honor to be cast as Jesus, but also to be part of this production," Legend shares in the sneak peek. 

"I've been familiar with Jesus Christ Superstar the show since I was a teenager in high school. We sang some of the songs in show choir," the GRAMMY-winning artist adds. "The power of this production is that it talks about the human emotions that Jesus quite likely felt as he was about to be killed."

The award-winning musical -- with music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice -- was first performed on Broadway in 1971 and tells the story of Jesus' last days from the perspective of Judas, all reimagined as a powerful, catchy rock opera.

Dixon explains how NBC's production of the hit musical is "unique" among the slew of live plays staged by different networks over the last few years -- including The Sound of Music Live!, The Wiz Live!, Grease: Live! and Peter Pan Live!, as this show will be performed in front of a large audience at the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn, New York.

"It's a Broadway show, it's a concert, it's a television show, it's kind of the best of all of these worlds," Dixon says.

Webber and Rice are serving as executive producers, while veteran British theater director David Leveaux is helming the production, in collaboration with an impressive creative team of seasoned live theater pros.

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airs Easter Sunday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.