Jesus Christ Superstar Returning to New York's Broadway

The controversial musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" is returning to Broadway this spring after becoming a hit production in Canada.

The rock musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is coming to New York in the spring after success up north.

Beginning March 1, previews of the show will be at the Neil Simon Theatre with opening night set for March 22 under the direction of Des McAnuff the same director of the Ontario, Canada show.

McAnuff said, "I'm extremely happy, and very, very happy for the company of actors because I think they anticipated that this might happen and I certainly haven't discouraged them from believing that,” according to AP.

The original run of the play debuted on Broadway in 1971 and earned five Tony Award nominations and spawned a movie version in 1973.

Even before "Superstar" was a play or movie, it was an album and McAnuff promises the show will stay true to those original recordings saying: "We've treated it more like an opera than a musical."

The play follows the life of Jesus as he lives out the last seven days of his life before his crucifixion.

While some Christians see the play as a tool to spread the gospel, others feel it is a direct shot at Christian beliefs and blasphemous against the church.

In the March 1970 issue of Seventeen Magazine Tim Rice was quoted as saying: "Although the gospels seem largely accurate in their telling of the events of the crucifixion, one can see great flaws in their portrayals of both Christ and Judas."

Rice also describes how the portrayal of Christ is through the eyes of Judas sees "Christ as a man, not as God" and also speaks of Jesus having a relationship with Mary Magdalene.

"Jesus Christ Superstar" joins a few other religious based Broadway plays with "Sister Act," "The Book of Mormon" and "Godspell," slated for the end of the month.