FOX is following up its hit musical event “Grease: Live” with another special: “The Passion.” The live, two-hour musical event will air on Palm Sunday, March 20, at 8 p.m. EDT, and will be shot in nine iconic locations in New Orleans. “The Passion,” which tells the story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, features actor, writer, producer, director and New Orleans native Tyler Perry as its host and narrator.
While the story is more than 2,000 years old, “The Passion” takes place in a modern-day setting. Audiences will be treated to a popular-music walkthrough of Jesus’ last hours, from the Last Supper, to his betrayal by Judas Iscariot, to the trial by Pontius Pilate, to his crucifixion and, ultimately, his resurrection.
“’The Passion’ is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational,” said David Madden, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, when the musical event was announced in December. “We are so thrilled to have the multi-talented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast – and viewers – through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story.”
The star-studded cast includes Yolanda Adams, Jencarlos Canela (Jesus), Gabriel Conte (disciple), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Shane Harper (disciple), Prince Royce (Peter), Seal (Pontius Pilate), Michael W. Smith (disciple) and Trisha Yearwood (Mary, the mother of Jesus). The music is arranged by executive producer and music producer Adam Anders.
In addition to the music, “The Passion” will feature a procession of 1,000 people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The City of New Orleans was excited to be selected as the setting for “The Passion,” according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Year after year, our city continues to prove to be one of the best places for major motion pictures and world class productions,” he said. “One of the reasons our economy continues to grow is due to our continued focus on creating opportunities for our cultural economy to thrive and this production announcement is another example of our success.”
Learn more about what a production like this takes by reading the Variety article about “The Passion.” Go to the official website to access exclusive content and connect with the show’s social media accounts. “The Passion” will air live on Sunday, March 20, from 8-10 p.m. EDT (tape-delayed for PDT audiences) on FOX.