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Just call him Andrew Cuomo Superstar.
Glowing reviews poured in Monday for the live version of “Jesus Christ Superstar” on NBC Sunday night. But John Legend, who played Jesus, wasn’t the only one to take a bow on the stage of the Marcy Avenue Armory in Brooklyn. At the end of the credits, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo got his moment to shine, too.
“Filmed With the Support of the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development,” one of the last credits said as the TV screen showed Legend enjoying the last moments of the broadcast with castmates.
No, Cuomo didn’t play the flamboyant King Herod — that honor belonged to Alice Cooper. And he wasn’t the domineering Pontius Pilate in the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera, either, though Cuomo has — verbally — flogged his share of opponents to, as Pilate says, “keep you vultures happy.”
Instead, Cuomo worked behind the scenes. The armory is a state facility, an Empire State Development spokeswoman told The Point. And the production applied for tax credits, but the exact value won’t be determined until “receipts” are submitted and audited, she said. Of course, that’s a bit controversial, since a live television show isn’t a big revenue generator for the state, though the spokeswoman noted that the production was expected to generate “several hundred hires.”
Surprisingly, though, there was no big publicity push from the governor about the part the state played, either before the live production began, or after it met with plenty of, well, buzz.
But even if his role was small, unseen on the enormous armory stage, Cuomo can reap the benefits. As he ramps up his campaign for re-election, with actress Cynthia Nixon as a primary opponent, Cuomo could create his own showstopping-number campaign ad by lining up some “Superstar” power of his own, with lines sung by Sara Bareilles: “Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine”; Brandon Victor Dixon: “Who’d you think, beside yourself, was the pick of the crop?”; and, yes, Alice Cooper: “You are all we talk about, the wonder of the year!”