Theater News

Jesus Christ Superstar National Tour Star Arrested on Charges Related to January 6 Capitol Siege

James D. Beeks was playing Judas in the 50th anniversary production and was arrested in Milwaukee.

James Beeks (performing under the name James Justis) as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar
James Beeks (performing under the name James Justis) as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar
(© Evan Zimmerman)

Actor James D. Beeks has been suspended from the ongoing national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar after being arrested on charges related to the January 6 siege of the US Capitol.

Beeks, who was performing under the stage name James T. Justis, took on the leading role of Judas in the production, and was charged last week by the US Attorney's Office in Washington, DC, with obstruction of Congress and unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds. He was arrested Tuesday, November 23, made an appearance at the Eastern District court of Wisconsin, and was released prior to further proceedings.

The actor was identified by law enforcement officials in part from the Michael Jackson Bad tour jacket he can be seen wearing in photographs from the January 6 events. He had also been observed by law enforcement officials during multiple performances of Superstar in San Francisco and Los Angeles before being arrested at the Milwaukee tour stop. At a pre-trial video conference on November 29, Beeks agreed to continue observing pre-trial release conditions including a curfew and GPS monitoring.

Beeks appeared as an Angel and understudied the role of Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots. He also appeared in Aida, Ragtime, and Smokey Joe's Cafe. He had played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar's 50th anniversary tour since 2019.

He was suspended indefinitely from the tour, and the production said that it is giving "full cooperation to the authorities while the investigation is ongoing."