NBC Set To Air Bye Bye Birdie And Jesus Christ Superstar During The  2017-2018 Season 

NBC Set To Air Bye Bye Birdie And Jesus Christ Superstar During The  2017-2018 Season

Picture Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Happy Monday everyone. And, if you are experiencing the Monday blues, it is time to “put on a happy face” and revel in the news that NBC has recently announced two exciting live musical theatre events:  Bye Bye Birdie in late 2017 and Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday, April 1st, 2018. 

Wow. Just wow. Can these two musicals be anymore different in tone and substance?   The common thread, however, is that both musicals are blessed with a phenomenal musical score and memorable characters and story line. 

Here is what NBC had to say about Jesus Christ Superstar via The Hollywood Reporter:

““As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC,” NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said Wednesday in a statement. “Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score.”

Jesus Christ Superstar was originally conceived as a concept album that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus’ life, and features other historical figures in prominent roles including Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Peter, Simon Zealotes and King Herod.”

Additionally, here is the background information re Bye Bye Birdie :

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live! will follow Bye Bye Birdie Live!, which is set to bow in December with Jennifer Lopez already attached to star and exec produce.”

Bye Bye Birdie is more light hearted. A comedic gem, really.  The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The rock star character’s name, “Conrad Birdie”, is a word play on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty is best remembered today for his long career as a country music star, but in the late 1950s, he was one of Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll rivals. (Source: Wikipedia)

Jesus Christ Superstar focuses on the Passion Of Jesus Christ and is, of course, more spiritual in content. However,the musical content is absolutely perfect for the Easter season  and the music – a masterpiece – was composed by the brilliant mind  of  a very young Andrew Lloyd Webber

I recently saw both musicals live in my home town of Timmins. They were produced by my talented cousin, Lauri Ann Loreto Neal who oversees the musical theatre program at my alma mater, O’Gorman High School. . Both productions were excellent and I am truly excited to see what NBC has in store for us. 

At this writing, the casting has not been confirmed.  

However, here’s an idea!  You know all of those great singers on NBC’s The Voice who seemingly disappear after the season is over?  Why not give them a chance by casting them in some of the roles?  There are tons of characters in both shows and ample room for a dozen or more of these “The Voice” alumnae.  I mean – c,mon man!  It seems logical no?

Are you excited to see these shows?  Which is your favorite?  What other suggestions do you have for a live musical event?  My Dream musical for December is “White Christmas“. 

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

One Response to “NBC Set To Air Bye Bye Birdie And Jesus Christ Superstar During The  2017-2018 Season ”

  1. I LOVE JCS … my son, Dylan, has been in it 3 times in local theater and a dear old friend from high school (40 years ago) reminds me that she and I used to take parts and sing it at the top of our lungs in my bedroom to the album! 🙂

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