Springfield’s John Legend reflects on time in Springfield musical

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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A brief synopsis of the music career of Springfield's John Legend.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Though his performance in NBC’s live rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” helped earn the network a ratings win on Sunday, the theater experience hasn’t always been glamorous for Grammy Award-winning Springfield native John Legend.

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In an interview the star recently did for Theater Mania, the singer-songwriter reflected on an experience he had while performing for the Springfield Arts Council’s Summer Arts Festival in his youth. Legend said he missed a very important cue during his participation in the 1994 production of the musical “BIG RIVER.”

“One day, for some reason, I didn’t go out for one of my cues,” he said. “I was supposed to be one of the guys carrying the casket. I wasn’t there, and so it was just leaning.”

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Legend said his director wasn’t happy following the flub.

“That was my last musical theater performance, so I guess I didn’t bounce back,” he said.

Despite his mistake in the past, Legend more than made up for it with his performance Sunday, according to reviews. The star-studded cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar” — which included singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, “Hamilton” star Brandon Victor Dixon and rock legend Alice Cooper — helped propel NBC to win Sunday night’s TV ratings, topping ABC’s American Idol and FOX’s Sunday night prime time comedy lineup, according to the Nielsen TV ratings.

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The measurement company’s report stated the broadcast reportedly drew in 9.4 million viewers across the nation in an early assessment, topping NBC’s previous live musical production of “Hairspray!,” which drew in 9 million.

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