Synopsis

ACT 1

It is a glorious spring day and an exuberant crowd pours into Jerusalem (“Jerusalem”). Judas and Peter marvel at the sudden change of fortune and how it seems they are succeeding at last.   In the upper room the disciples finish their Passover meal with Jesus (“Why Is This Night Different?”). Judas arrives late and cautions that the High Priest of the Temple is upset by Jesus’ recent actions. Jesus predicts a betrayal by one of his closest followers and Judas leaves.   When Peter protests that no one could betray him, Jesus predicts that Peter will deny him three times before the cock crows.  Then Jesus tries to teach his followers how to remember him in the changing storm about to come (“This Is My Body”).    The group retires to an outdoor garden where Jesus asks his followers to pray and watch with him only for them to all fall asleep (“Gethsemane”). Jesus is arrested and taken away to the High Priest’s house.   Peter follows and tries to inquire about his Master’s fate from a serving girl.  To his confusion and horror he finds that she is his former fiancée whom he abandoned to follow Jesus.   She believes that Peter has come for her and when she discovers that he is still following Jesus, she loudly proclaims that he is one of Jesus’ followers.  In trying to silence and refute her, Peter suddenly realizes that he has denied Jesus three times as the cock crows.  Jesus is tried and sentenced before Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod (“Wash My Hands”).  Peter, despondent, is carrying a rope when he meets Judas.  Unaware of Jesus fate, Judas wrestles the rope from Peter as he learns what is about to happen. Judas rushes off, sure that he can rectify the situation with the High Priest.  The Centurion describes the crucifixion as Jesus suffers and dies (“Golgotha”). Peter is stopped by the Centurion and afraid that he is about to be arrested.  But the Centurion wants to know more about Jesus and his teaching.  Peter starts to remember things that Jesus said and finds a glimmer of hope for his future (“Requiem”).

ACT 2

Mary Magdalene, Miriam, and Joanna are on a path to the tomb three days later (“It’s Nearly Day”).  Joanna discovers that the tomb is open, and the three bravely enter and encounter a mystical vision (“Quem Quaeritis”).  They run away, frightened by their overwhelming experience.  Peter and the disciples are in the upper room and they lament what was their former life (“Once I had Grande Dreams”).  Mary, Miriam, and Joanna rush into the room, each talking over the other about their different experiences (“Voices”). Peter reacts with skepticism and anger (“I Doubt It”).    Mary goes back to the tomb where she is joined by Peter and John.  They find the tomb open and the men take the shroud and go back to the others.  Mary, alone, laments her loss (“They’ve Taken My Lord Away”).  Jesus appears to her, comforts her and asks her to tell the others (“I Will Wipe Away Each Tear”).   Mary returns to the disciples.  Some begin to believe her but not Peter and Thomas (“I Doubt It – reprise 1”). Suddenly Cleopas and Simon rush in and relate their extraordinary experience (“On The Road To Emmaus”). Peter’s anguish continues as Mary tries to comfort him (“Now Comes The Dawn”).  Now many followers arrive, relating experiences of seeing Jesus (“Good News”). Peter sends Thomas out to see if he can find out what is going on.  Meanwhile Peter is sure that Jesus can’t forgive his betrayal.  Jesus appears to him (“Feed My Sheep”).  Thomas returns and believes that Peter is making a fool of him (“I Doubt It”).  Jesus is now visible to all and tells them that he must go to finish his work and they are all enlisted to help (“Ascension”).  The followers all have different experiences of Jesus departure (“Ascension Coda”). At first they are unsure of what the future holds, but then they realize they are at the dawn of a new day (“Finale”).

Act 2