Passion: The Musical
Program notes for the first half of this evening’s performance at the Hutton Gibson Center for the Performing Arts:
ACT 1, SCENE 1: a hill outside of Jerusalem we will later come to know as Golgotha. As the “Overture” plays, Jesus, smiling for the only time during the performance, cavorts about in the background, dispensing pearls of wisdom which we cannot quite hear to his many young, attractive Caucasian followers. Judas, who is played by an actor of indeterminate race and dressed in a hip-hop style, connives stage right, casting aspersions on the undefined but surely good and holy teachings of our Savior in the sinister and foreboding “Hellz on My Mindz”.
ACT1, SCENE 2: a cave, near the above. Jesus returns from lecturing to the good Christian folk of the region and is angered to find his shiftless disciples sitting around watching situation comedies on television. Becoming angry and filled with moral clarity, the Lord switches off the set as the disciples sing “What the Fuck? (We Were Watching What’s Happening!!)”. Judas, who is a big fan of Rerun, dares question messianic wisdom, ungratefully taking Jesus to task in the grammatically questionable “Strange Thing, Mister, Frying”. The women, fulfilling their natural and subservient roles as peacemakers, break up the subsequent fistfight, even though Jesus is winning, with their mellow-rock ballad “Everything’s All Right (Please Stop Yelling)”.
ACT 1, SCENE 3: the Black Pits in the Death Chamber of the Gentile Infants, located at the local synagogue. Annas and Caiaphas, along with a number of other vile, treacherous Jews with the dark hearts, corrupted souls and hooked noses typical of their race, plot their horrible act of deicide, loudly boasting that they are doing it for no reason other than the fact that they are evil, in the minor-chord-heavy “This Goyim Must Die”. As the sun rises, they slink back into their bloody crypts, fleeing the purity of the light as Jesus enters Jerusalem with a defiant look of grim determination. His followers rejoice triumphantly at the untrammeled joy of being a Christian, singing “Oh Hosanna (Don’t You Cry for Me)”.
ACT 1, SCENE 4: a Roman coliseum constructed in the heart of the city, where Christ and his followers nightly triumph over tigers, elephants, Chinese kung fu masters, and Old West gunslingers. The violent, insane Jewish zealot Simon begs Jesus to take revenge on the Roman overlords — not because of oppression, but just because Simon is a wicked Hebrew and likes to see people suffer — in his song “Simon the Wicked Hebrew”, delivered in an impenetrably thick Yiddish accent. Jesus responds with “Poor Ol’ Jerusalem”, in which he laments the fact that in order to facilitate the Biblical prophecy of the Apocalypse, his followers will someday have to pay lip service to supporting the state of Israel.
ACT 1, SCENE 5: the chambers of Governor Pontius J. Pilate, Roman administrator of Judea. Pilate, to be played by a natural blonde, worries that history will judge him harshly for his role in the crucifixion of Jesus, even though he is totally innocent and not at all greasy-looking and besides, it’s all the Jews’ fault, them and their best buddy Satan, in “A Gentile’s Nightmare”.
ACT 1, SCENE 6: the synagogue, during the day when the Pharisees are sealed in their coffins. In “The Body is a Temple”, Jesus becomes infuriated for the sixth time in Act 1, running the ‘moneychangers’ out of his father’s house. You know what we mean? ‘Moneychangers’? Get me? I don’t have to spell it out, do I? Okay then. He makes it clear that just because he doesn’t like ‘moneychangers’, he’s not some kind of crazy hippie, and that capitalism is okay by him, as long as you don’t get all greedy like some kind of filthy hook-nosed ‘moneychanger’. Mary Magdalene, watching Jesus’ righteous outrage, clarifies her relationship with our Savior regardless of what some perverted revisionists might think in the tender and beautiful but not at all sexual “I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Physically”.
ACT 1, SCENE 7: Judas, completing the treasonous betrayal of our Lord and Savior that was really inevitable given his racial makeup and love of ghetto music, meets with the vampire parasite-men of the Pharisees once they rise from their tombs and feast on the viscera of a Christian baby. They offer him a 20% coupon on a hundred dollar tracksuit and a vial of crack cocaine in exchange for betraying the Messiah. Meeting up with some local ‘moneychangers’, Ethiopian prostitutes, and an agent of Satan who is in town for an educator’s convention, they sing the number that closes Act 1, the demonic celebration “Damn! For All Time/Blood Monkey”.