The recent fad of TV networks putting on elaborate live musical presentations has certainly been thrilling (mostly in terms of the hilarious tweets they inspire), but this whole trend has been lacking a certain something that could boost these musicals from “occasionally tolerable” to “extremely marketable.” No, not talent. We’re talking about Jesus.
Thankfully, Fox has also noticed this appalling lack of general holiness in America’s live musical events, so it has hired Tyler Perry (the owner of “What Would Jesus Do?”) to host and narrate a live presentation of Dutch musical sensation The Passion. This comes from Deadline, which says the two-hour performance will “tell the story of the last hours of Jesus Christ” with “a cast of top entertainers performing popular tunes.” Of course, the story of Jesus’ final moments is a bit of a downer, so the people behind the original production of The Passion livened up the story by setting it in the present day—despite the fact that it revolves around a guy being crucified, which doesn’t happen very often anymore.
Fox’s The Passion will be staged in the streets of New Orleans, and it will feature a big setpiece where “hundreds of people” carry “a 20-foot, illuminated cross” from the Superdome to the stage at Woldenburg Park—despite the fact that a big part of the story is that Jesus carried the cross himself. The performance will air on Fox on March 20, which is a week before Easter Sunday. Presumably, Fox will either re-air it that weekend or rush to get DVDs on store shelves in time.