NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert was a big winner on night two of the Creative Arts Emmys and as each win was announced, there was an outpour of love and praise for the late great Craig Zadan, who served as executive producer.
The live musical telecast based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway smash is nominated for 13 Emmys, five of which were won tonight including Outstanding Production Design For a Variety Special, Outstanding Sound Mixing For a Variety Series or Special, Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For a Variety Special, and the last award for the evening, Outstanding Variety Special (Live). As the team took the stage to accept the award, the honored and dedicated their respected trophies to Zadan.
Upon winning Outstanding Lighting Design, Lighting Designer Al Gurdon said, “I want to dedicate this award to Craig Zadan.” He added, “He will be sadly missed by all of us. I only got to work with him once, but it was a privilege.”
Upon winning the award for Outstanding Variety Special, Zadan’s long-time producing partner Neil Meron took the stage and said, “This is for Craig…tonight he achieves his goal.” Meron went on to talk about how Zadan believed in the popular art form of film and TV and how it is great to have his work with Jesus Christ Superstar acknowledged. “Craig would have loved this.”
Zadan died in August after complications following shoulder replacement surgery. The super-producer is known for championing musical theater and producing Oscar telecasts as well as the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the musical Chicago. In addition to Jesus Christ Superstar, he is known for bringing other live musical events to NBC including The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray. He was also set to produce the forthcoming live TV productions of Bye Bye Birdie, A Few Good Men, and Hair.
Jesus Christ Superstar also earned nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor (Brandon Victor Dixon), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Sara Bareilles), Outstanding Lead Actor (John Legend) and Outstand Directing (David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski). Winners for those categories will be announced on Sept. 17 during the Primetime Emmys telecast.