Appearing on digital Broadway talk show Stars in the House, the legendary composer reflected on the unique origins of the Biblical musical. “When Tim Rice came up with the idea of writing about the last seven days of the life of Christ, nobody thought that it could remotely work as a theater show,” Webber told host Seth Rudetsky. “I mean, it was considered to be off the scale…beyond anything as far as, certainly anything anybody in Britain was concerned. And of course, we didn’t know anything about America then.
“So we had a single from it, which was the Murray Head track of ‘Superstar,'” he continued. “Which was just a single; that’s all it was…The record company, which was MCA in those days, said ‘OK we’ll put up the money for you to record it.’ So we had to record it as if it was kind of like a radio play with music, if you see what I mean. The whole point was that if you were listening to it at home, you had to be able to follow the story with no sets, no costumes, no anything…It never was in that form conceived for the theater.”
The virtual talk show also reunited cast members Jason Tam, Brandon Victor Dixon, Norm Lewis and Alice Cooper, who played Peter, Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas and King Herod, respectively, in the 2018 live concert special, which was rebroadcast on Easter by NBC.
Watch the full episode of Stars in the House below.