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Godspell
A MUSICAL BASED UPON THE GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW

Music and New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
For "By My Side" the lyrics by Jay Hamburger, music by Peggy Gordon
Conceived and Directed by John-Michael Tebelak
Musical Arrangement and Direction by Stephen Schwartz

One of the biggest off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time, GODSPELL is based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew. In the Gospel, Jesus Christ preaches through parables and storytelling. The show, which is not built on a traditional plot, utilizes clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics, and vaudeville to tell the story of Christ. A pageant that moves from moment to moment, Godspell is a reflection on the life of Jesus by ten performers who are dressed as clowns.

Featuring a sparkling, seminal score by Stephen Schwartz, GODSPELL boasts a string of recognizable songs, led by the international hit, “Day By Day.” As the cast of actor/clowns makes it way through “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “Save The People,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “Bless The Lord,” “All For The Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side,” we, as audience members get to see the parables of Jesus Christ come humanly and hearteningly to life.

A celebration of the life and teachings of Christ, GODSPELL can be performed virtually any where with the simplest of sets, costumes, lights and music. All you need is an ensemble of ten performers to bring the material to life.
Opened 5/17/71 Off-Broadway; Broadway Transfer: 1976 Ran for 2,124 performance off-Broadway and 527 on Broadway          

Version:     Original Off-Broadway version      
Credits:     Conceived and Originally Directed by John Michael Tebelak

Music and New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Originally Produced on the New York Stage by
Edgar Lansbury / Stuart Duncan / Joseph Beruh      
Type:     Book Show      
Acts:     Two      
Rating:     G      
Cast Size:     Small (2-10)      
Orchestra Size:     Small (1-11)      
Chorus Required:     No     
Dancing Required:     Yes, but minimal/optional     
Difficulty:     Easy to learn
Easy to sing      
Style:     Broadway
Contemporary      
Category:     Historical
Comedy
Drama
Religious Themes      
Ideal For:     Cabarets
Intimate Spaces
Low Budgets
Colleges
Community Theatres
Fund-Raising
Regional Theatres      
Cast Size:     Small (2-10)     
     5 Men & 5 Women      
Casting Notes:          
Characters:     cast members use their own names (libretto uses names of original cast members)     
Special Requirements:     Simple, clown costumes     

ACT ONE
(Enter SL: Jeffrey, Robin, Sonia, Peggy
Enter SR: Herb, Lamar, Stephen, Gilmer, Joanne
Stephen Xs USR, sits cross-legged facing back wall.
All form tight circle USC, Gilmer in middle; humming begins and continues under Stephen's speech.)
Stephen-Jesus
My name is known: God and King. I am most in majesty, In whom no beginning may be and no end. Highest in potency I am, And have been ever.
I have made stars and planets in their courses to go. I have made a moon for the night and a sun to light the day also. I have made earth where trees and grasses spring, Beasts and fowl, both great and small, all thrive and have my liking. I have made all of nothing for man's sustenation And of this pleasant garden that I have mostly goodly planted I will make him gardener for his own recreation.
Gilmer-Socrates
I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy. For know that this is the command of God; and I believe that no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, young and old alike, not to take thought for your persons or properties, but first and chiefly to take care about the greatest improvement of the soul. This is my teaching and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, then I am a mischievous person.
(As theme music is heard under the speech.)
But if anyone says that this is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. (Sings:)
Wherefore, O men of Athens,
I say to you
Therefore, acquit me or not
But whichever you do
I shall never alter my ways
Never adjust my approach to this maze
Never reform til the end of my days
Even if I have to die many times.
(The theme music is here again.)
Jeffrey-Thomas Aquinas
God is apprehended by imagination, intuition, reason, touch, opinion, sense, and name
(And so on)
While on quite the other hand, we find we can't begin to
Understand him, so to some it seems a shame
To go on
But he is all things in all
And he is nothing in any
He is often found in one thing small
Conversely, he is often missed in many.
Joanne-Martin Luther
God almighty has made our rulers mad
God almighty has turned our people bad
For the German nobility, with typical agility,
Have so applied their skill at egregious laws
That the people are lead astray; they feel beholden to obey
I may be just the German way, but God, it gives one pause.
(The theme music is heard again.)
Lamar-DaVinci     Sonia-Gibbon     
The rise of man...

Was natural...

Man is so levitable!


Instead of admiring
Man's filling of the void.
We should rather be surprised
That God had man so tyrannized

... Man will be strong
So long.      
The decline of Rome...
Was natural
And inevitable...

Instead of inquiring
Why Rome was destroyed...


We should rather be surprised

That Rome remained so strong

So long.      
Robin-Frederic Nietzsche
What...
Is noble
Nowadays?
Peggy-Jean Paul Sartre
Atheistic existential-
Ism which I represent is
More coherent - I do believe it...
Herb-Buckminster Fuller
Man is a complex of patterns, of processes...
Peggy-Jean Paul Sartre
There is no such thing as human
Nature, not in all or few men,
Since there is no God to conceive it...
Herb-Buckminster Fuller
Man is a complex of patterns, of processes...
(Fuller continues speaking as the theme music is heard again, softly.)
I live on Earth at present, and I don't know what I am.
I know that I am not a category
I am not a thing - a noun
I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process-
An integral function of the universe.
All
So high
In my
Lovely Ivory Tower of Babel babble, babble, babble, Babble, babble, babble, babble)
high above the
Rabble (Rabble, rabble, rabble, Babble, Rabble, babble, babble, rabble, babble)
Greatest mind of history
Solving life's sweet mystery
So listen to me (so listen to me)
Know how life should be (know how life should be)
Oh, what does it matter if they don't agree?
(All pick up garbage bags, empty the contents; Herb turns off all PARs, full stage fight, garbage thrown while TOWER OF BABEL is repeated as a fugue. Theme music is heard again, David appears at the back of the house, blows a note on a shofar and sings, Xing down aisle to stage:)
David-John the Baptist
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
(General jubilant shouts, all pick up PREPARE YE forming line on-stage from UC to DC. David baptizes all individually, singing continues as all exit for quick change. Stephen and David left on stage.)
David-John the Baptist/Judas
You vipers' brood! Who warned you to escape from the coming retribution? Then prove your repentance by the fruit it bears; and do not presume to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham for our father." I tell you that God can make children for Abraham out of these stones here. Already the ax is laid to the fruit of the trees; and any tree which fails to produce good fruit is cut down thrown on the fire. I baptize you with water, for repentance; but He who comes after me is mightier than I. I am not fit to take off his shoes. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
(He notices Stephen/Jesus is holding baptismal bucket out to him.) (To Stephen)
Do you come to me?
Stephen
Yeah, I wanna get washed up.
David
(Kneeling)
I need rather to be baptized by you.
Stephen
(brings David back to his feet)
No, no. Look, let it be so for the present; we do well now to conform with all that God requires.
(Music cue)
SAVE THE PEOPLE
When wilt thou save the people?
O God of mercy when?
The people, Lord, the people;
Not thrones and crowns, but men!
Flowers of thy heart, O God are they;
Let them not pass, like weeds, away,
Their heritage a sunless day:
God save the people!

Shall crime bring crime forever,
Strength aiding still the strong?
Is it thy will, O Father,
That men shall toil for wrong?
"No," say thy mountains; "No," say thy skies;
Man's clouded sun shall brightly rise,
And songs be heard instead of sighs:
God save the people!

When wilt thou save the people?
O God of mercy when?
The people, Lord, the people;
Not thrones and crowns, but men!
God save the people; for thine they are,
Thy children as thy angels fair:
O save the people, from despair,
God save the people!
(Cast enters from audience, dressed in clown costumes)

When wilt thou save the people?
O God of mercy when?
The people, Lord, the people;
Not thrones and crowns, but men!
God save the people; for thine they are,
Thy children as thy angels fair:
O save the people, from despair,
God save the people!
(Cast finishes song CS, table grouping, gets make-up tubes from Peggy)
Stephen
Now, do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets:
(He makes up David's face; others watch)
I did not come to abolish, but to complete.
(He passes out tubes to the clowns. The clowns make each other up.)
I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Law until all that must happen has happened. If any man, therefore, sets aside even the least of the Law's demands he will have the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven.
(Jumps off the table, crosses DSR)
But he who keeps the law and teaches others so, he will have the highest place in the kingdom of Heaven. I tell you this, unless you show yourselves far better men than the Pharisees and the doctors of the Law...
Joanne
Hubba, hubba, hubba.
(Imitating a bureaucrat.)
Stephen
(admonishing her)
... you shall never enter the kingdom of Heaven. (Transition.)
All
Oompah-pah
Oompah-pah
Oompah-pah
Oompah-pah
Lalalalalalalalalalalala.
(The stage is transformed into a calliope; clowns join song with stylized marionette movement.)
Stephen
There once was a judge. (He calls Joanne DSR)
All
Lalalalalalalalalalala
Stephen
Who cared nothing for God nor man
Clowns-All
Lala
Stephen
And in the same town there was a widow
(He calls Sonia DSR to Joanne and crosses DSL)
Who constantly came before him demanding justice against her rival.
Clowns-All
Lala
Stephen
For a long time he refused. But in the end he said to himself
Clowns-All
La (held)
Joanne
True, I care nothing for God nor man, but this widow is so great a nuisance, that I will see her righted before she wears me out with her persistence.
Clowns
Lalalalalalalalalalalala
(Joanne and Sonia return to group C., end of Calliope, beat, crosses to,)
Stephen
(on table jumps)
You hear what the unjust judge says: and will not God vindicate his chosen who cry out to him day and night while he sits listening patiently to them?
All
(moving in)
Will he, Jesus? Will he, will he?
Stephen
Well, I tell you, he will vindicate them, soon enough. All Yay! (etc.)
Stephen
But, when the son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?
Lamar
Oh, I'm glad you brought that up...
Sonia
Shhh! (Climbing on table)
Gather round, brothers and sisters,
(All take a revivalist meeting attitude)
because two men, I said two, went off to the temple to pray. One, a Pharisee,
(Gilmer runs DSL, turns on PAR)
All
Boo! (General derision)
Sonia
and the other a tax gatherer.
(Jeffrey somersaults off table to DSR, turns on PAR.)
All
Ahhh!
Sonia
The Pharisee, why he just stood right on up, and praaaaayed thus:
Gilmer
I thank thee, O God, that I am not like other men, greedy, dishonest, adulterous, or, for that matter, like that tax gatherer. I pray twice a week - get that, twice a week - and pay taxes on all that I get."
(General derision directed at Gilmer)
Sonia
But the other kept his distance and would not even raise his eyes to the good Lord in Heaven.
(to Peggy)
I said the good Lord in Heaven, chile.
Peggy
Amen, sister!
Sonia
But beat upon his breast, saying,
Jeffrey
Oh, God, have mercy on me, sinner that I am!
All
Hallelujah! Amen! (etc.)
Stephen
And it was this man, I tell you...
Gilmer
Oh, you've got to be kidding!
Stephen
... and not the other who went off and quitted of his sins for - Every man who exalts himself (Gilmer does a leap)
shall be humbled:
(He taps her on the shoulder and she collapses.)
but (Stephen Xs to Jeffrey)
Every man who humbles himself, shall be exalted.
(Stephen attempts to raise Jeffrey from his knees; fails.)
Shall be exalted. (All cheer Jeffrey)
(Stephen successfully lifts Jeffrey, then Xs USC, Jeffrey
loses balance and falls, gets up.)
Stephen
(Xs SL to USL corner of table)
You have learned that they were told, "Do not commit murder, anyone who commits murder must be brought to judgment." But what I tell you is this: "Anyone who nurses anger against his brother must be brought to judgment." So, anyone who abuses....
(All jump in terror.)
Stephen
(cont.)
... his brother must answer for it in the court. But, he who sneers at his brother must answer for it in the fires of Hell.
(Demonic laughter from all.)
(Transition)
Now, what if you are bringing a gift to the altar, and... (Cast forms an altar SC on the table) (To Joanne)
... you suddenly remember your brother has a grievance against you.
(Joanne has picked up sneaker from USR, is Xing DSC.)
Joanne
(giving a karate chop to sneaker)
Hai-yah!
Stephen
(to Joanne)
No, leave your gift where it is, before the altar. Leave it!
Joanne
(putting down the sneaker)
O.K.
Stephen
First, go and make peace with your brother.
(Joanne Xs C to Lamar sitting under the table, pats his head; general disapproval. She pinches his nose and starts to leave. General disapproval again. Finally she bends down and gives him a kiss. General approval from everyone.)
Now go and offer your gift.
(Joanne takes sneaker to altar, gives it to Peggy, center. The altar accepts the gift, a vocal reaction cut off by Stephen's next line.)
Stephen
But, what if your brother sues you...
(Still in place, altar does stylized boxing movements.)
You'd better settle with him quickly.
(Lamar grabs Joanne.)
Stephen
(Cont.)
Otherwise, he'll hand you over to the judge and the judge to the constable...
(Lamar swings Joanne in a circle; she runs around to US side of table, crawls under.)
... and you'll land in jail.
All
(Peggy, Jeffrey, and Gilmer drop their legs off the table ; Joanne peers through.)
Unnh!
Stephen
And I tell you, you'll not get out of there until you; you've paid the last penny.
Transition
(Stephen begins clapping in a rhythm which is picked up by all. Robin jumps on table center, Jeffrey Xs DL, All stand in places, clap hands to rhythm.)
Jeffrey
(in rhythm)
There once was a king...
All
Yeah, yeah!
Jeffrey
Who decided to settle accounts with the men who served him
All
Yea, yeah, yeah!
Jeffrey
Well, at the outset there appeared, before the master a man whose debt ran into the millions.
(Joanne crawls out from under table to DSC, facing us on knees)
All
Whoa!
Jeffrey
I said the millions.
All
Whoa!
Jeffrey
Since the man had no means of paying the money, the master ordered him to be sold to meet the debt with his wife...
All
Whoa!
Jeffrey
And his child...
All
Whoa!
Jeffrey
And everything he had. Well, the threw himself down at the master's feet and went
All
Unh!
Joanne
(clings to Robin's legs, on table)
Oh, be patient with me...
Jeffrey
he said,
Joanne
and I will pay you in full...
Jeffrey
(breaking rhythm)
And so moved with pity was the master that he decided to free the man and remit the debt and let's hear it for the master!
All
(to each other and audience)
Yay! Huzzah (etc.) What a great master!! (etc.)
David
Wait a minute! But, no sooner had the man gone out than he met a fellow servant who owed him a few dollars. He gripped him by the throat and said:
(Joanne Xs right, encounters Herb and collars him)
Joanne
Pay me what you owe me!
David
The man threw himself at his fellow servant's feet and begged him saying:
Herb
(falls to his knees)
B-b-b-b-b-b-be patient with me and I shall pay you.
Peggy
But he refused and had him jailed until he should pay the debt.
(Joanne "kicks" Herb, he crawls under table and stands US of it)
Lamar
The other servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened.
(All jump)
They ran and they told their master the whole story!
(jumps twice)
Accordingly he sent for... THE MAN!
(Beat on table crescendo, ending with "MAN")
(Joanne throws herself to the ground in front of Robin)
Robin
(Shirley Temple imitation)
You scoundrel!
Lamar
He said to him.
Robin
I remitted the whole of your debt when you appealed to me. Were you not bound to show your fellow servant the same pity I showed you?
(Does a brief time step and salutes. Jeffrey jumps on table.)
Jeffrey
And so fricken was the skrickpocket that he clickened the storz, and frockened the stickpocket!
All
WHAT????
Jeffrey
(Bela Lugosi or Peter Lorre imitation)
And so angry was the master that he condemned the man to torture until he could pay the debt in full.
(all leaning threatening over table towards Joanne)
Unh-unh-unh.
(Sonia bangs the finger cymbals, Stephen stands up.)
Stephen
And that is how my Heavenly Father will deal with you, unless you each forgive your brothers from your hearts.
(Music cue)
DAY BY DAY
Robin
Day by day
Day by day
Oh, dear Lord three things I pray.
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day.
(Robin Xs DR to Stephen)
(during choreography, table and planks are moved to second position)
Day by day
Day by day
Oh, dear Lord three things I pray.
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day.
(Change to 4/4)
All
(Two verses unison, one verse harmony, plus extension.)
Day by day
Day by day
Etc.
(After extension:)
day by day by day by day by day.
End of Song
(Pantomime between Herb and Sonia begins DSR, moves DSL.)
David
Master, let me chastise the vixen.
Stephen
Get back there.
(sliding down planks.)
Hello! Now, if your right eye offends you, tear it out and fling it away.
Herb
Oh, no!
Stephen
It's better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole of it to be thrown into hell.
Herb
Yeah, but she's so.... Oh, all right.
Stephen
(Xing to Sonia DSL)
Uh, if your right
(Jeffrey squeezes concertina)
hand offends you I want you to cut it off and fling it away.
Sonia
Aw, c'mon!
Stephen
Now look, it's better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole of it to be thrown into hell.
(Sonia waves good-bye to Stephen, who Xs DR)
Stephen and Sonia
(Three Stooges bit)
Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo.
Stephen
You've heard that they were told; An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But what I tell you is this: Never set yourself against a man who wrongs you.
(Stephen Xs DSL)
So if someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him your left.
David
Oh, Jeeesus Ch...
(Gilmer slaps her hand over David's mouth.)
All
Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch, (they do the old bit)
(Stephen slaps David across the face. David raises his hand to strike back, freezes, others freeze. David tries to get away. Finally hugs Stephen; cast follows suit.)
All
Aaaww.
Stephen
Now, if a man sues you for your shirt
(Stephen claps twice, indicates "famous quotation".)
All
(gathering center around planks)
Charades! Famous Quotation! (General excitement.)
(Stephen acts out the following words: "Give", "him", "coat", last word Stephen indicates "little word", but cast can't get it.)
Musicians
GIVE HIM YOUR COAT AS WELL!
All
Yay! (Handclapping, cheers, bravos, etc.)
Stephen
Now, if a man in authority asks you to go one mile with him...
(Stephen indicates to the others to do the charades to the audience; they line up along the apron and begin acting out words.)
David
(Xing DC)
Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Let's hear it from the Eternal Savior of the Cosmic Consciousness!
(Stephen Xs DC with a ventriloquist's dummy.)
Stephen
Now if a man in authority asks you to go one mile with him...
Dummy's Line
Go with him two!
All
(to audience)
GO WITH HIM TWO!
Stephen
Give when you are asked to give
(they begin to X US)
And never turn your back
(All turn while Xing US)
on one who wants to borrow.
(Stephen Xs DSR, hands off the dummy, Gilmer follows him.)
Gilmer
Hey, you wanna see a show?
Stephen
At these prices?
(He takes Gilmer by the hand SC, they lie down and watch the following scene: Sonia, SC on the table, one sawhorse, Lamar and David hold broom, others act out hand pantomime US of planks)
(Samaritan - Peggy
Man - Herb
Robber - Jeffrey
Priest - Joanne
Judge - Robin
All can be interchanged)
Sonia
A man was on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell in amongst robbers, who beat him, stripped him, and left, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest came upon the place and saw him and went past to the other side. So, too, a judge came to the place and saw him and went past to the other side.
(Jeffrey begins playing the concertina)
But, a Samaritan who was making the journey came upon him, and when he saw him, was moved to pity. He went up and bandaged his wounds, bathing them in oil and wine. Then he put him onto his own beast, brought him to an inn, and looked after him there. The next day he produced two pieces of silver and said, "Look after him and if you spend anymore, I will repay you on the way back."
(Sonia does finger cymbals.)
Stephen
You have learned that you were told, "Love you neighbor, hate your enemy," but what I tell you is this,
(Lamar and David have begun fighting over the broom. They become violent.)
"Love, love, love, your enemies.
(Lamar and David put their heads together and kiss facing front.)
And pray for your persecutors.
Herb
You don't mean...?
Stephen
(accompanied by a pantomime)
I do! Only so can you be called the Children of your Heavenly Father who makes the sun rise and set on good and bad alike, and sends the rain on the honest and the dishonest. Now if you greet only those who greet you, what reward can you expect? Surely the tax gatherers do as much as that and if you love only those who love you, what is there extraordinary in that? Even the heathen do as much. No, your goodness must know no bounds, just as your heavenly Father's goodness knows no limit.
(Pantomime becomes noisy; Stephen Xs USL, picks up sawhorse, slams it down for attention.)
But, be careful not to make a show of your religion before men.
All
(they hang their heads in shame)
Oh.
Stephen
Because if you do, no reward awaits you in the kingdom of my Father.
(All gather around the table center, Stephen jumps on table; they turn the table with him on it.)
When you do some act of charity, don't announce it with a flourish of trumpets, as the heathen do in the synagogues and in the streets. I tell you they do it just to win admiration from men. No, when you do some act of charity
(Stephen takes out magic scarf.)
don't let your right hand know... what your left hand is doing.
(Stephen changes color of the scarf)
All
Ohhhhh. (General amazement)
Stephen
Your good deed must be in secret.
(All put their heads down on table and whisper.)
Lamar
(to audience)
It's a secret!
(David leaves table Xs DC.)
David
What the Good Master is telling us is that when God tells a little secret on us he knows that... (gets confused)
(Stephen Xs to David)
Stephen
No, no, no. Your heavenly Father, who sees what is done in secret (turns to others) He will what?
All
REWARD YOU!
(Stephen pops a champagne popper behind David's back, Xs SL. David Xs DSL, turns on PAR)
(Lamar, Joanne, Gilmer, sit on floor above table. Jeffrey, Herb, Peggy, Sonia sit on floor below table. Robin standing C above table.)
David
There once was a rich man who dressed in purple and the finest linen,
Robin
That's me.
David
and every day feasted in the greatest magnificence. At his gate lay a poor man (uses aged voice) named Lazarus who would have been glad to have satisfied his hunger with the scraps from the rich man's table.
Robin
Oh, my God, it's good!
David
Even the doggy-doggies used to come and lick his open, running sores. (end of old voice) Well, one day, the poor man died
(David has heart failure, falls backwards, is caught by Stephen, who kicks him to heaven, and turns off PAR.)
and was carried away by the angels,
(Lamar and Joanne jump on table dressed as angels.)
to be with Abraham.
(David jumps onto table and kneels.)
The rich man also died
(Robin falls to floor, slides DS under the table.)
and was buried in Hades
(Jeffrey, Herb, Sonia, and Peggy become demons and begin lunching on Robin.)
where he was in torment. He looked up and there, far away, was Abraham
(Gilmer jumps on table.)
with Lazarus close beside him.
Robin
Oh, Father Abraham, have pity on me; send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue for I am in agony in this fire.
(Angel noises and chimes every time Abraham speaks.)
Gilmer
(slightly Brooklyn accent)
Remember, my child, that all the good things fell to you while you were on earth and all the bad to Lazarus, and now it is he who has consolation here and it is you who are in agony. Nut that ain't all; there's a great chasm between us and nobody from your side who wants to cross it can, and no one from our side who wants to cross it can... either.
(Does a take to David.)
Robin
Then, Father, send Lazarus to my Father's house where I have five brothers to warn them that they too may not come to this place of torment.
Gilmer
They've got Moses and the prophets. Let 'em listen to them.
Robin
But if some one from the dead should rise, then they would listen.
(Gilmer gives a cut-off to the angel noises.)
Gilmer
Look, if they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, they ain't gonna listen to nobody, even if someone should rise from the dead.
All
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
(Music cue.)
LEARN YOUR LESSONS WELL
Gilmer
(Herb, Sonia, Peggy, Robin, Jeffrey pantomime various types of sinners during this verse - Gilmer refers to them during the song.)
I can see a swath of sinners settin' yonder
And they're actin' like a pack of fools
Gazing into space they let their minds all wander
'Stead of studying the good Lord's rules
You better pay attention, build your comprehension
There's gonna be a quiz at your ascension
Not to mention any threat of hell
But if you're smart, you'll learn your lessons well.
(End of pantomime)
Stephen
(leading all)
(All act as an echo for Stephen, movements are dreamlike and only involve arms and faces.)
The lamp, lamp, lamp
Of the body, body, body
Is the eye, eye, eye
If your eye, eye, eye, eye
Is sound, sound, sound, sound
Your whole, whole, whole, whole
Body, body, body
Will be filled, filled, filled, filled, filled, filled, filled, filled
With light, light, light, light
(Gilmer closes her eyes and gropes)
But, but, but
If your eye, eye, eye, eye
Is bad, bad, bad, bad
Your whole, whole, whole, whole
Body, body, body
Will be darkness.
If then, then, then, then
The only, only, only, only
Light, light, light, light
You have, have, have, have
Is darkness, -ness, -ness, -ness
The darkness will be doubly dark.
(he covers Gilmer's eyes with his hands)(suddenly uncovers them; her eyes are still shut)
Gilmer
I can't see!
All
What's the matter? (etc.)
Gilmer
(opening eyes)
Because I've got my eyes shut!
(Music cue.)
LEARN YOUR LESSONS WELL
(2nd verse)
Every bright description of the promised land meant
You can reach it if you keep alert
Learning every line and every last commandment
May not help you, but it couldn't hurt
First you gotta read 'em, then you gotta heed 'em
You never know when you're gonna need 'em
Just as old Elijah said to Jezebel
You better start to learn your lessons well.
(Joanne and Lamar each grab one of Gilmer's arms, begin tug of war.)
Stephen
Now, no servant shall be the slave of two masters. Either he will love the first and hate the second
(Gilmer kisses Joanne)
or be devoted to the second and think nothing of the first.
(Gilmer kisses Lamar, thumbs her nose at Joanne)
No man can serve God...
All
What!? (turning to Jesus)
Stephen
and money!
(Transition)
All
Money, money,. money, guilders, rupees, (etc.)
(All go to positions for BLESS THE LORD, Joanne standing on table C.)
Joanne
There once was a rich man, whose land yielded heavy crops. He debated with himself: "Oh what am I to do?" he said. "I have not the room to store my produce. Ahh, this is what I will do," he said. "I will tear down my storehouses and make them bigger. I will collect in the all my corn and popcorn and tuna surprise, and M&Ms, and then I will say to myself, 'Man, you have a plenty of good things laid by you, enough to last you many years. Take life easy. Eat. Drink. Enjoy yourself.' But, then God said to the man, "You fool, this very night you must surrender your life. You have made your money. Who will get it now?"
(Music cue)
OH BLESS THE LORD MY SOUL
Joanne
O Bless the Lord, my soul!
His grace to thee proclaim!
And all that is within me join
To bless his holy name!
O Bless the Lord, my soul!
His mercies bear in mind!
Forget not all his benefits!
The Lord to thee is kind.
Joanne and Girls
He will not always chide;
He will with patience wait;
His wrath is ever slow to rise,
And ready to abate.
All
He pardons all thy sins:
Prolongs thy feeble breath;
He healeth thine infirmities,
And ransoms thee from death.
He clothes thee with his love;
Upholds thee with his truth;
And like the eagle he renews
The vigor of thy youth.
Then bless his holy Name,
Whose grace hath made thee whole,
Whose loving kindness crowns thy days!
Oh bless the Lord my soul!
(End of song. Stephen crawls under table DSC, turns to others)
Stephen
Therefore I bid you put away anxious thoughts about food and clothes to cover your body. Surely life is more than food...
(Sonia hops up, beckons sexily to Jesus.)
and the body more than clothes.
Herb
(indicating Sonia)
Her body is more than clothes. Look, I'll show ya!
(Herb lunges for Sonia, is pulled back to place by others.)
Stephen
Consider the lilies of the field.
(makes pop up flowers appear. General reaction.)
They don't work, they don't spin, and yet I tell you, Solomon in all his splendor was not attired like one of these. Now, if that's how God clothes the grass which is here today
(tosses flowers to Peggy)
and tomorrow is thrown on the fire, will he not all the more clothe you?
(They all hang their heads, looking guilty)
How little faith you have! So don't go around anxiously saying, "What am I to eat, what am I to drink?"
Herb
What are we to eat?
All
(to Herb)
Don't ask that!
Stephen
Set your mind where?
All
(pointing to heaven)
God.
Stephen
God's kingdom and His justice and all the rest will come to you as well. So don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has problems of its own.
(Transition - all begin telling each other and audience their problems - Joanne interrupts)
Joanne
Master, Master! Blessed are the poor in spirit...
(each begins getting the idea of the game, thinking of a beatitude, rhythm should build to David's line, which should top the others)
Stephen
For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Robin
Blessed are they that mourn...
Stephen
For they shall be comforted.
Gilmer
Blessed are the meek...
Stephen
For they shall inherit the earth.
Jeffrey
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice...
Stephen
For they shall be filled.
Sonia
Blessed are the merciful...
Stephen
For they shall have mercy.
Lamar
Blessed are the poor in heart...
Stephen
For they shall see God.
Peggy
Blessed are the peacemakers...
Stephen
For they shall be called the children of God
Herb
Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake...
Stephen
For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
David
(pointing to Stephen with great intensity)
Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely.
(Full stage freeze. Stage goes to red. All are stunned and turn to Stephen for an explanation - he tries to change the subject)
Stephen
Did I ever tell you that I used to read feet? No, it's true; some people read palms and tea leaves...
(General disbelief. Stephen picks up Jeffrey's foot.)
Look what it says. It says rejoice.
Jeffrey
(looking at foot)
It says "Keds"
(Groans from the others. They move to places for ALL FOR THE BEST)
Stephen
Yes, rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in Heaven.
(Music cue: ALL FOR THE BEST)
(Stephen gets on table top, turns on PAR, does soft shoe, while singing first verse.)
ALL FOR THE BEST
Stephen
When you feel sad, or under a curse
Your life is bad, your prospects are worse
(Stephen is picked up by Joanne and Herb >, carried off the table and set down DSC; he turns on PAR.)
Your wife is sighing, crying,
And your olive tree is dying
Temples are greying
And teeth are decaying
And creditors weighing your purse
Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue
You'd bet that Job had nothing on you
Don't forget that
When you go to heaven you'll be blest
Yes, it's all for the best.
(Stephen ends verse sitting C on table, Gilmer hands him ukulele; he accompanies David's verse. David begins DSL, Xs during verse to DSR.)
David
Some men are born to live at ease
Doing what they please
Richer than the bees are in honey
Never growing old
Never feeling cold
Pulling pots of gold from thin air
The best in every town
Best at shaking down
Best at making mountains of money
They can't take it with them
But what do they care?
They get the center of the meat
Cushions on the seat
Houses on the street where it's sunny
Summers at the sea
Winters warm and free
All of this and we get the rest
But who is the land for?
The sun and the sand for?
You guessed -
It's all for the best.
(Percussion plays three rim-shots; on third rim-shot cane appears in Stephen's right hand. Percussion plays another three rim-shots, David attempts to produce a cane, can't; Stephen hits David's hand with his cane, percussion plays third rim-shot. David and Stephen move DSC with canes and sing their verses simultaneously while dancing a soft shoe. At the end of this verse planks are disassembled. All join the dance while Stephen and David deliver the following joke DSC.)
Stephen
Now, how can you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye, when all the time there's this great plank in your own?
David
I don't know. How can you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye when all the time there's this great plank in your own?
Stephen
Or, how can you take the speck of sawdust out of your brother's eye when all the time there's this great plank in your own?
David
I don't know. How can you take the speck of sawdust out of your brother's eye when all the time there's this great plank in your own?
Stephen
You hypocrite!
(Full stage freeze)
First take the plank out of your own eye so you can see clearly enough to take the speck of sawdust out of your brother's.
(Sonia blows blast on Hollywood tooter; another full stage freeze.)
David
Wait a minute! That's no answer to the question!
Stephen
Did I promise an answer to the question?
(All join Stephen and David for final verse of song.)
When you feel sad, or under a curse
Your life is bad, your prospects are worse
Your wife is sighing, crying,
And your olive tree is dying
Temples are greying
And teeth are decaying
And creditors weighing your purse
Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue
You'd bet that Job had nothing on you
Don't forget that
When you go to heaven you'll be blest
Yes, it's all for the best.
(After singing it together, the breaks are as follows:)
(Tag)
Stephen
All your wrongs will be redressed.
All
Yes, it's all for...
Stephen
You must never be distressed.
All
Yes, it's all for...
David
Someone's got to be oppressed.
All
Yes, it's all for the best.
(Song ends but Sonia continues dancing SC; Stephen stops her twice. Third time, as he turns to go, Herb stamps his foot and Stephen turns, expecting to find Sonia still dancing. All laugh uproariously at Stephen, who points at Gilmer.)
Stephen
Judge not that you yourself shall not be judged.
(Gilmer punches whoever is next to her and punch travels down the line.)
Stephen
For whatever you deal out to others...
(He motions Gilmer to join him SL; she arrives just in time to be hit on the head by Jeffrey who is the end of the line SL.)
will be dealt back to you.
(Stephen catches Gilmer as she falls. Gilmer stands up, does a take to Stephen and begins singing JESUS LOVES ME. She is joined by the others. This is a transition in which all form a straight line US, squirming like children in a school play. This attitude continues throughout the following parable, including the song ALL GOOD GIFTS. Stephen quiets the others who are still singing JESUS LOVES ME. Peggy Xs DSR; Stephen redirects her DSC. She does a stage fright bit in which she holds a take to the audience, becomes terrified, and runs to Stephen, who brings her back DS and starts her off on the following parable.)
Peggy
A sower went to sow some seed and as he sowed
(Joanne Xs DSR to Peggy and collapses.)
some seed fell along the footpath where it was trampled on (trampling noises) and the birds ate it up.
Joanne
Tweet, tweet, tweet.
(Peggy Xs DSL, turns on PAR.)
Peggy
Some seed fell on rock.
(Herb Xs DS to Peggy and squats.)
Peggy
And after coming up, withered for lack of moisture.
(Herb pantomimes this. Peggy Xs USL to Gilmer, David, and Jeffrey and turns on PAR.)
Some seed fell in among the weeds and the weeds grew up with it and choked.
(David and Jeffrey choke Gilmer. Peggy Xs SR to Lamar, Sonia, and Robin, Stephen turns on their PAR.)
And some of the seed fell into good soil.
Sonia
(sotto voce)
Hey, that's us!
(good seed stand up)
Peggy
And it grew, and it yielded a hundredfold.
(Peggy, emotionally caught up, dances SL, Stephen follows her and stops her. He directs his lines to Peggy. As he describes each group, he and Peggy move to that area of the stage.)
Stephen
If you have ears to hear, then listen, listen, for this is what the parable means. Do you know what the seed is?
Peggy
A baby!
Stephen
(shocked)
No! The seed is the word of God, and that seed which fell along the footpath represents those who hear the Word, but then the Devil comes and carries them off for fear they should believe and be saved.
(Turns off Joanne's PAR.)
Joanne
Oy!
Stephen
And that which fell upon rock, oh, they receive the word with joy when they first hear it, but they have no root and so in time of testing they desert.
(Lifts Herb's head and reacts with an "Ugh!" to the strangled look on Herb's face. Stephen turns off Herb's PAR.)
Stephen
Oh, and that which fell among the weeds, they hear the Word, but their further growth is impaired by cares and wealth and pleasures of the world.
(Stephen makes thunder sound, gestures to David and Jeffrey, who collapse, Gilmer waves her arms, Stephen directs next line to her. Stephen turns off PAR.)
Stephen
Oh, no, no, no! They bring nothing to fruit.
Peggy
(to Gilmer)
No fruit, Gilmer.
Stephen
But, that which fell among good soil -
(Stephen Xs to Robin, Lamar, and Sonia who are drooping. Stephen whispers:)
Hey, good soil, good soil -
(They perk up.)
They hear the word with a good and honest heart and through their perseverance, yield a harvest.
(Sonia plays finger cymbal. Music cue: ALL GOOD GIFTS. Sonia turns off PAR. Lamar takes mike, Xs SC, all do a circle dance around him for first verse and refrain of song.)
ALL GOOD GIFTS
Lamar
We plow the fields, and scatter,
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain.
Refrain:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord, O, thank the Lord
For all his love.
(Instrumental break. Lamar Xs DSC, hands microphone to Stephen who Xs DSL. Jeffrey begins recorder break and leads others, Pied Piper fashion, around the stage while Stephen makes the following speech:)
Stephen
So don't store your treasure on earth, where it grows rusty and moth-eaten, and thieves break in to steal it. No, store up your treasure in heaven, where there is no moth and no rust and no thief breaks in to steal it. For where your treasure is, so will your heart be also.
(All form group SC turned in to Stephen SL.)
All
We thank thee, then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food:
No gifts have we to offer
For all thy love imparts,
But that which thou desirest,
Our humble thankful hearts.
Refrain:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord, O, thank the Lord
For all his love.
(Jeffrey plays another recorder break which ends the song.)
(Transition)
Herb
Attention!
(All follow orders given by Herb.)
Right-left! Left-right! Get down! Get down! Get down! Get up! Left-right! Wiggle your ears! Hup, two, three, four! Hup, two, three, four!
(All fall into rank and march around perimeter of stage area. Stephen Xs SC.)
Stephen
(a la drill sergeant)
Don't give dogs what is holy...
(Count two-three, stop marching all.)
and don't throw your pearls to the pigs for they will only trample on them and then they'll turn and cut you to pieces. (Transition) A-one, a-two, a-one, two, three, four.
(All take places for Prodigal Son pantomime. Cast is as follows:
First Narrator and Elder Son: Herb
Father: Lamar
Younger Son: Jeffrey
Servant: Gilmer
Local Landowner and Second Narrator: David
Whores, Pigs, Revelers, and Scenery: Robin, Sonia, Joanne, Peggy
Stephen watches from DSL.)
Narration:
Herb
Once upon a time there was a man who had two sons and the younger said to his father: "Father, give me my share of the property." So, he divided his estate between them. A few days later the younger son turned the whole of his share into cash and left home for a distant country, where he squandered it in reckless living. He had spent it all, when a severe famine fell upon the country and he began to feel the pinch. (Ouch!) So he decided to attach himself to one of the local landowners who sent him to the field to mind the pigs.
David
(ordering Jeffrey)
Pigs!
Jeffrey
Pigs?
David
Pigs!
Herb
He would have been glad to have filled his belly with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's paid servants have more food than they can eat, and here I am starving to death. I will set off and I will go to my father and I will say to him: "Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants." So he set out for his father's house, but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and his heart went out to him. (Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.) The son ran to meet his father, threw his arms around him, and kissed him, saying: "Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants. But the father called to one of his servants (Whistle. Narrator affects Yiddish accent.) "Kvick, fetch me my robe, my best one, put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet and bring the fatted calf and kill it - a nice Kosher vun - and let us have a veast to celebrate the day, for this son of mine was lost and is found." And the festivities began.
(All hum a tango and frolic.)
(Herb becomes elder son, David takes up narration.)
David
Now, the elder son was out on the farm, working;
(Whew!)
And on his way back, as he approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called to one of the servants and asked him what it meant. The servant said: "Uh, uh, uh, your nephew - nope, nope, nope, your brother-in-law, nope, nope, nope - your cousin - your brother, your, your brother's come back home again and your father's killed the fatted calf cause he has him back safe and sound, yup, yup, yup!" But the brother was irritated.
Herb
Oh, c'mon!
David
He was pretty damned mad! And refused to go in the house. The father came out and pleaded with him but he retorted, saying: "You know how I've worked for you all these years and I never once disobeyed your orders and you never gave me so much as a kid for a feast with my friends, but once this son of yours turns up, after running through your money with his women you kill the fatted calf for him." "My boy," said the father, "you are always with me and everything I have his yours. Now, how could we help but celebrate this happy day, for your brother here was dead and has come back to life - metaphorically speaking - was lost and is found."
(Pantomime continues, father attempts to reconcile the two sons; Stephen urges the reconciliation also.)
Herb
(whining)
No, I don't wanna. Please don't make me, Jesus... oh, all right!
(After three pantomime tries, Jeffrey jumps in Herb's arms and they kiss. All cheer - Stephen begins transition.)
Stephen
(in rhythm)
Is there a man among you who will offer his son a stone when he asks for bread?
All
(milling center in rhythm)
Is there a man among you who will offer his son a stone when he asks for bread?
Stephen
A snake if he asks for fish?
All
No!
Stephen
Well if you now/Bad as you are/Now, know how to give your children what is good for them/How much more will your heavenly Father give good things...
All
Good things!/Good things!/Good things!/Good things!/Good things!/Yeah!
Stephen
... to those who ask for them/Always treat others/As you would have then treat you/
All
Yeah/yeah/yeah!
(Moving to positions for LIGHT OF THE WORLD.)
Stephen
Well, that is the law and the prophets.
All
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
The law and the prophets
(Music cue: LIGHT OF THE WORLD)
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Herb
You are the light of the world!
All
You are the light of the world.
Herb
But if that light's under a bushel
Brrrr...It's lost something kind of crucial.
All
You've got to stay bright
To be the light of the world.
Peggy
You are the salt of the earth.
All
You are the salt of the earth.
Peggy
But if that salt has lost its flavor
It ain't got much in its favor.
All
You can't have that fault and be the salt of the earth.
So let your light so shine before men
Let your light so shine
So that they might know some kindness again
We all need help to feel fine.
David
Let's have some wine!
Jeffrey
You are the City of God.
All
You are the City of God.
Jeffrey
But if that city's on a hill
It's kind of hard to hide it well
All
You've got to stay pretty in the City of God.
So let your light so shine before men
Let your light so shine
So that they might know some kindness again
We all need help to feel fine.
(Let's have some wine!)
Robin
You are the light of the world.
All
You are the light of the world.
Robin
But the tallest candlestick
Ain't much good without a wick.
All
You've got to live right to be the light of the world.
So let your light so shine before men
Let your light so shine
So that they might know some kindness again
We all need help to feel fine.
Let's have some wine!
(Cast passes wine out to the audience. Musicians segue into jam session; Stephen picks up microphone.)
Stephen
We're gonna take a little ten minute break now, but in the mean time, we'd like to invite you all up on the stage or in the house for a little wine; go out in the lobby, smoke a cigarette, get some fresh air. We'll be back in ten minutes and thank you all very much for coming.
END ACT I

SECOND ACT
LEARN YOUR LESSONS WELL (reprise)
(Lamar accompanies himself on piano, song is sung from band platform while others set the stage for Act II. All enter at random during first verse of song; Peggy turns out PARs, Gilmer sweeps up garbage, finds broom and wig block, sets them aside, David and Joanne tear off sheets of aluminum foil which they wrap around Robin, Herb, and Jeffrey in preparation for the Pharisee scene.)
Lamar
I can see a swath of sinners settin' yonder
And they're actin' like a pack of fools
Gazing into space they let their minds all wander
'Stead of studying the good Lord's rules
You better pay attention, build your comprehension
There's gonna be a quiz at your ascension
Not to mention any threat of hell
But if you're smart, you'll learn your lessons well.

Every bright description of the promised land meant
You can reach it if you keep alert
Learning every line and every last commandment
May not help you, but it couldn't hurt
First you gotta read 'em, then you gotta heed 'em
You never know when you're gonna need 'em
Just as old Elijah said to Jezebel
You better start to learn your lessons well.
(Song ends, Lamar is applauded by all, takes bow and leaves band platform; Music cue: TURN BACK, O MAN. Sonia, hidden, waves pink scarf from back of house, appears at back of house. General exclamations on-stage referring to Sonia's entrance. She vamps her way down the aisle singing:)
TURN BACK, O MAN
Sonia
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Old now is earth, and none may count her days.
Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,
Still wilt not heat thine inner God proclaim,
"Turn back, O man (Is your seat comfortable, sir?)
Turn back, O man (MMMmmm, I like that!)
Turn back, O man (Hiya, curly!)
Forswear thy foolish ways."
(See ya later I'm going to the front of the theatre.)
Earth might be fair, and all men glad and wise.
Age after age their tragic empires rise.
Built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep:
Would man but wake from out his haunted sleep.
(Below apron)
Turn back, O man (Wattya doin' after the show, honey?)
Turn back, O man (Can ya see from where you're sittin'?)
(To Stephen)
Turn back, O man (Hiya, big boy!)
Forswear thy foolish ways.
(Sonia ends verse on-stage DSR; Stephen sings following verse from DSL:)
Stephen
Earth shall be fair, and all her people one;
Not til that hour shall God's whole will be done.
Now, even now, once more from earth to sky
Peals forth in joy, man's old undaunted cry.
Earth shall be fair, and all her people one!"
Sonia
C'mere, Jesus, I got something to show ya!
(Sonia drops her scarf, Stephen rushes to pick it up; music crescendos and all join Stephen and Sonia in a cake walk accompanying last verse of song.)
All
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Old now is earth, and none may count her days.
Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,
Still wilt not heat thine inner God proclaim,
"Turn back, O man.
Turn back, O man.
Turn back, O man.
Forswear thy foolish ways."
(Song ends; all noisily go to their place for Pharisee scene with much hand clapping and shouting. Stephen, at DSR, turns to them.)
Stephen
Stop, this is the beginning.
Robin
(now a Pharisee, to Stephen)
By whose authority are you acting like this?
Herb
Who gave you this authority?
Stephen
Well, I have a question to ask you. Answer it and then I'll tell you by whose authority I act. The baptism of John; was it from God or was it from man?
Jeffrey
(to Robin and Herb)
If we say "from God," he will say, "Then why did you not believe?"
Robin
But if we say, "from men",...
Jeffrey
... the people...
Herb
... will be angry for they took John as a prophet.
Robin, Herb, Jeffrey
(to Stephen)
We do not know.
Stephen
Then neither will I tell you by whose authority I act, but I a story for you; a man had two sons
(motions to David who Xs to Stephen C and accompanies this speech with pantomime.)
He went to the first, and said, "My son, go and work in the vineyard today." "I will go," said the boy; but he never went. Then the father said to the second, "Now go my son, go and work in the vineyard today." "I will not go," said the son, but later on he changed his mind and went.
(David Xs DR and sits with others)
Now which of these two did as his father wished?
Herb
The second.
Stephen
And I tell you this; tax gatherers and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven, because when John came and showed you the right way to live, you didn't believe him but the tax gatherers and the prostitutes did, and even when you saw that you did not change your minds and follow him.
Robin
Master, you are an honest man. Give us your ruling on this: Are we or are we not permitted to pay taxes to the Roman emperor?
David
You hypocrites!
(David lunges for the Pharisees, is stopped by Stephen. David returns to his place.)
Stephen
(to Pharisees)
Show me the money in which the tax is paid.
(Herb flips Stephena pantomime coin.)
Well, now, whose head is on here, whose inscription?
Herb
Caesar's.
Stephen
Well, then, pay Caesar what is due Caesar, but pay God what is due God.
Herb
(long cross beginning down left moving to DR and ending at table)
Master, what is the greatest commandment of them all?
Stephen
Thou shalt love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. This is the greatest commandment of them all and the second is like it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. All the rest of the law, and all the prophets have written, is based on these first two.
(Stephen Xs DC, kneels, delivers speech to audience.)
The doctors of the law and the Pharisees sit in the chair of Moses, therefore listen to what they say, pay attention to their words, but do not follow their practices. For they say one thing and do another. They make up heavy packs and pile them on men's shoulders and they don't raise a finger to lift the load themselves. Everything they do is done for show. Oh, they go about wearing broad phylacteries with large tassels on their robes. They like to have their places of honor at feasts and at the synagogues and to be greeted respectfully in the streets and to be called 'teacher.'
(Stephen Xs USC to Pharisees, is handed microphone by David.)
But you must not be called "teacher" for you have one teacher: the Messiah,
(into mike)
and you must not call any man on earth "Father" for you have only one Father and you are all brothers, and you must call no man on earth "Rabbi" for you have one Rabbi and he is in heaven.
(Music cue: ALAS FOR YOU)
ALAS FOR YOU
Stephen
Alas, alas for you, lawyers and Pharisees
Hypocrites that you be
Searching for souls and fools to forsake them
You travel the land, you scour the sea
Then when you've got your converts, you make them
Twice as fit for hell
As you are yourselves.
Alas, alas for you, lawyers and Pharisees
Hypocrites that you are
Sure that the kingdom of heaven awaits you
You will not venture half so far
Other men who might enter the gates you
Keep from passing through
Drag them down with you.
You snakes, you viper's brood
You cannot escape being devil's food
I send you prophets and I send you preachers
Sages and rages and ages of teachers
Nothing can mar your mood.
(All Shouting, begin a pantomime of throwing garbage at Pharisees, but in place)
Hypocrites!
Alas, alas for you, lawyers and Pharisees
Hypocrites to a man
Sons of the dogs who murdered the prophets
Finishing off what your fathers began
You don't have time to scorn or to scoff, it's
Getting very late
Vengeance doesn't wait.
(All really throw garbage at Pharisees, Gilmer, Joanne and David knock planks off sawhorses, all but Stephen jump off the apron and into the house.)
You snakes, you viper's brood
You cannot escape being devil's food
I send you prophets and I send you preachers
Sages and rages and ages of teachers
Nothing can mar your mood.
Blind guides! Blind fools!
the blood you've spilt
On you will fall
This nation, this generation
Shall bear the guilt of it all!
(Stephen alone on the one plank left on sawhorse)
Alas, alas, alas
Blind fools!
(Stephen ends song DSC, all on floor below stage begin wailing and moaning representing Wailing Wall which continues under Stephen's next speech:)
Stephen
Oh, Jerusalem!
All
Oh, Jerusalem!
(moaning continues)
Stephen
City that stones the prophets and murders the messengers sent to her. How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not let me!
(Wailing stops)
And so I tell, you shall never see me until the time when you say: "Blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord!"
(All rise, focus on Stephen, all join Stephen on-stage, seated in a semi-circle upstage of him.)
But, take care that no one misleads you for many will come claiming my name and saying, "I am the Messiah!", and many will be mislead by them, for the time is coming when you will hear the noise of battle near at hand. For nation will make war upon nation, kingdom upon kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes in many places but with all these things the birthpangs of a new age begin.
(Stephen claps once; Herb falls back and wails like a newborn baby. When he rises, he has put on a beard.)
For as things were in Noah's days...
Herb
Happy Noah's Days!
(Herb rises, Xs USC to sawhorses and planks which have been set up by David to resemble an ark.)
Stephen
So will they be when the son of man comes.
Herb
(affecting aged voice)
C'mon animals. C'mon. There's a 73% chance of rain!
(All become animals. Herb ushers them into the ark. They begin pantomime of sailing movements.)
Stephen
For in the days before the flood, men ate and drank and married and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away.
(All pantomime drowning. The ark is disassembled.)
All
Master, save us! Are you not afraid we shall be drowned?
Stephen
Have you no faith? Peace. Be still.
(Full stage freeze.)
For when the son of man comes, there will be men working in the fields.
(All pantomime men working and women grinding.)
And of all these men working, one will be taken and the others left. Women! grinding at the wheel and of all these women one will be taken and the others left. So keep awake then for you never know on what day your Lord is to come.
All
Hah!
Stephen
(turns on PAR DSC) (Jimmy Durante imitation)
Remember, if the householder had known what time the burglar was coming, he would have stayed awake all night.
All
Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha!
(Stephen turns of PAR; to all:)
Stephen
So keep awake, then, for the son of man will come at a time when you least expect him.
(All form line US)
Stephen
(Xs DSR, sits)
Who is the trusty servant?
(All take one step US except Lamar. Lamar, Herb, Sonia, and Joanne provide pantomime for the following speech.)
The man charged by his master to take care of his servants and pay them at the proper time. Well, happy is that servant who is at his job when his master comes, for I tell you, he will be out in charge of all his master's property. But, what of the bad servant who sits around saying, "Oh well, the master is a long time coming," and he begins bullying the servants and eating and drinking with his drunken friends. I tell you this, the master will come on a day when he does not know at a time he least expects and will cut him to pieces. Then he'll take his place among the hypocrites...
(Pantomime ends. David Xs DSL.)
where there is wailing...
All
Wailing!
Stephen
and gnashing of teeth.
All
Gnash, gnash, gnashing!
Stephen
(opening a fortune cookie and reading this fortune.)
Remember, even a good runner, if he remains indifferent to the race, can never enter the kingdom of my Father.
(He throws away the cookie, eats the fortune, Sonia plays the finger cymbals. All move DSC pushing Peggy to floor and hurling invectives at her.)
Robin
Master, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery and in the law that Moses has laid down, such women are to be stoned.
Jeffrey
Yeah, what do you say about it, mister?
Stephen
That the one of you who is faultless shall throw the first stone.
(All raise their arms, holding garbage; freeze, indicate to each other, "Well, go ahead;")
Gilmer
(giving up and crossing away to get guitars)
Oh boy!
(One by one they put down their garbage and walk off ashamed. They sit on the steps leading to the stage right and left. Peggy is left CS, Stephen at DSR. Gilmer and Jeffrey get guitars and cross USL.)
Stephen
Where are they now? Has no one condemned you?
Peggy
No one, sir.
Stephen
Nor do I condemn you. You may go. Do not sin again.
(Music cue: BY MY SIDE; Accompanied by Gilmer and Jeffrey.)
BY MY SIDE
Peggy
Gilmer sings harmony
Where are you going? Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold and needs warmth
Where are you going?
Far beyond where the horizon lies (Where the horizon lies)
And the land sinks into mellow blueness
Oh please, take me with you...
Let me skip the road with you
I can dare myself, I can dare myself
I'll put a pebble in my shoe
And watch me walk... (watch me walk)
I can walk...
I shall call the pebble Dare (I shall call the pebble Dare)
We will talk, together about walking
Dare shall be carried
And when we both have had enough
I will take him from my shoe, singing:
"Meet your new road!"
Then I'll take your hand
Finally glad that you are here
By my side
David
(DSL)
Then the man they called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests, and said: "What will you give me to betray Him to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver.
Peggy
(very narratively - not subjective)
And from that moment, he began to look out for an opportunity to betray him.
BY MY SIDE (Cont.)
Peggy and All
(singing)
By my side
By your side
By my side
By your side.
(All return to stage and set planks on floor SC as preset for the Last Supper. All sit in floor C facing Stephen US seated on sawhorse USC. Music bridge stops a he speaks:)
Stephen
Now, when the Son of Man comes in all his glory with all his angels with him, he will sit in state on his throne with all the nations gathered before him and he will separate the men into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep (indicating division) - Whoops!... - from the goats - Baah!... - and then he will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left...
(On word "sheep" above, all become sheep and goats and mill around stage baaing profusely. Stephen attempts to divide them into two groups, SL and SR.)
Lamar
Sheep on his right? OK.
(Sheep line up SR, goats SL in an inverted V formation, Stephen at the vortex.)
Stephen
... and then he will say to those on his right: "Baa baa baa baa baa."
Sheep
Baaaaaaa!
(Stephen quiets them, realizes the audience doesn't understand sheep language and resumes in English.)
Stephen
You have my father's blessing. Come and enter the kingdom that has been ready since the world was made.
(Sheep file on all fours between Stephen's legs and under the sawhorse on which he is seated.)
Stephen
For when I was hungry, you gave me food, when I was thirsty, you gave me drink, when I was naked and without a home, you took me to your house, and when I was ill and in prison, you came to my aid.
(Jeffrey, a goat, sneaks into line behind the sheep, is stopped by Stephen.)
Stephen
Hey, hey, hey get back there.
Jeffrey
Baah!
(Jeffrey returns to the goat line.)
Stephen
(referring to sheep, now gathered around his throne)
And they will say to him:
Robin
Master, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you drink?
Gilmer
Yeah, or in prison or helped you?
Stephen
(referring to sheep)
And then he will say to them: Anything you did for one of your brothers here, however humble, you did for me.
Gilmer
Oh, I get it!
Stephen
Then he will say to those on his left: A curse is upon you!
Goats
(cowering)
Baah!
Stephen
You go from my sight to the eternal fire...
(Stephen indicates SL, Gilmer taps his knee and indicates SR; Stephen stands corrected and points SR.)
... to the eternal fire, that has been ready for you with the devil and his angels, for when I was hungry you didn't give me anything to eat, when I was thirsty you didn't give me anything to drink, when I was naked and without a home, you didn't take me to your house, and when I was ill and in prison, you didn't come to my aid. And then they will say to him:
Joanne
(speaking for the goat group)
Aw, Master, if we'd a known it was you we woulda taken you around the corner for a cup of coffee.
(Stephen gives her a withering look and she cowers)
Stephen
And then he will say to them: Anything you did not do for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did not do for me.
Goats
Baah!
(Cue for music: WE BESEECH THEE)
Stephen
(to goats)
Go take your place in eternal punishment!
Goats
Baah!
Stephen
But the righteous shall have eternal life.
(Goats X DSC baaing angrily, sheep form tight circle around Stephen. Jeffrey picks up microphone left DSC after ALAS FOR YOU.)
WE BESEECH THEE
Jeffrey
Father, hear Thy children's call
Humbly at thy feet we fall
Prodigals, confessing all
All: We beseech thee, hear us!
Jeffrey
We thy call have disobeyed
Into paths of sin have strayed
And repentance have delayed
All: We beseech thee, hear us!
Refrain:
Jeffrey: Come sing about Love!
All: LOVE!
Jeffrey: That caused us first to be
Come sing about Love!
All: LOVE!
Jeffrey: That made the stone and tree
Come sing about Love!
All: LOVE!
Jeffrey: Love!
All: LOVE!
Jeffrey: That draws us lovingly
All: We beseech thee, hear us!
All: Sick!
Jeffrey: We come to thee for cure
All: Guilty!
Jeffrey: We seek thy mercy sure
All: Evil!
Jeffrey: We long to be made pure
Both: We beseech thee, hear us!
All: Blind!
Jeffrey: We pray that we may see
All: Bound!
Jeffrey: We pray to be made free
All: Stained!
Jeffrey: We pray for sanctity
Both: We beseech thee, hear us!
REFRAIN
All
By the gracious saving call
Spoken tenderly to all
Who have shared man's guilt and fall
We beseech thee, hear us!

By the love that longs to bless
Pitying our sore distress
Leading us to holiness
We beseech thee, hear us!
(One verse mouth percussion.)
Grant us hope from earth to rise
And to strain with eager eyes
Towards the promised heavenly prize
We beseech thee, hear us!
REFRAIN (plus "LOVE" extension.)
All
Boom chic-a-boom chic-a-boom chic chic
Chic-a-boom chic-a-boom chic-a-boom chic chic!
Chic Chic! BOOM CHIC!
(DAY BY DAY reprise; all finish WE BESEECH THEE in place for the Last Supper. David gets Albolene, Kleenex, and mirror, hands mirror to Stephen who holds it up to each face, to show them how make-up looks. They pass Kleenex and Albolene and remove make-up; song, and make-up removal end with Stephen's line:)
Stephen
I tell you this: One of you among us will betray me.
(All reply, "Can it be me, Lord?" in the following order: Joanne, Robin, Gilmer, Jeffrey, Sonia, Lamar, Peggy, Herb;)
David
Rabbi, can you mean me?
Stephen
The words are yours. Do quickly what you have to do.
(David exits through the back of the house.)
(Stephen, picking up matzo, says Hebrew Blessing for bread, giving each a piece of the bread.)
Stephen
Take this and eat; eat for this is my body.
(He says Hebrew Blessing for wine, pours wine into two paper cups, gives them to his disciples saying:)
Take this and drink for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant shed for the forgiveness of sins, and I tell you I shall never again drink from the fruit of the vine until I drink it again with you in the kingdom of my Father.
(Music cue: ON THE WILLOWS. From the Last Supper formation all form circle; Stephen bids farewell to each in pantomime, beginning at one o'clock with Herb. The order follows as: Jeffrey, Joanne, Gilmer, Robin, Sonia, Lamar, Peggy. The following lines are underscored with ON THE WILLOWS:)
Stephen
(at USC, standing)
Stay here while I go over there to pray. My heart is ready to break with grief. (He Xs SL, turns to group.) Stop here and stay awake with me.
(All entwine arms, still in circle and begin rhythmic breathing, raising right arms in rhythm. Rhythmic breathing continues under Stephen's lines, gradually building. Stephen Xs DL, kneels.)
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass me by, yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.
(He rises, Xs back to USC.)
What!? Could none of you stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and be spared the test. Oh, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
All
(reaching in place for him, eerily)
Everyone else may fall away on your account but I never will.
Stephen
(Xing SR)
I tell you this, tonight before the cock crows you will all betray me three times.
(Stephen Xs DSR, sighs. All resume rhythmic breathing, increase tempo and volume.)
Stephen
Father, if it be not possible for this cup to pass me by without my drinking from it, thy/will/be/done.
(Stage turns to red, all become demons, X to Stephen DSR, tormenting him.)
Lamar
If you are the son of God, turn these stones into bread!
(All echo Lamar's line.)
Stephen
(Xing SC; demons follow)
Man does not live by bread alone. He lives on every word that God utters.
(Demons raise Stephen into the air.)
Peggy
(all echoing)
If you are the son of God, throw yourself down, for Scripture says: "He will send his angels down to support you and they will hold you in their arms."
Stephen
You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
Herb
(all echoing)
All these things I will give you if you will do me homage.
Stephen
Begone, Satan!
(Red fades, Stephen is set down)
You shall do homage to the Lord your God and worship him alone.
(Full stage freeze as all return to their places; with rhythmic breathing, door slam, all sit up as though awoken. David enters from back of house. All watch him. He attempts to approach Christ, tries to leave, finds himself walled in on three sides but the path to Christ is open. He and Stephen embrace, then sit up.)
Friend, do quickly what you have to do.
(Stephen kisses David on both cheeks, pause, David blows shrill blast on police whistle, rolls up sleeves, stands above Stephen, arms outstretched, raises his eyes to heaven, and grabs Stephen. Stage is flooded in white light, all rush to fence. Herb pantomimes sword and raises it.)
Stephen
Put down the sword; he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
(Herb throws down pantomime sword. Throws himself on fence. David dragging Stephen USC, stands him on box in preparation for crucifixion.)
Stephen
Do you not suppose that I could appeal to my Father who would at once send to me twelve legions of angels?
(David slips red garters onto Stephen's wrists and stretches out Stephen's arms on fence.)
Do you take me for a bandit, that you come after me with swords and cudgels? Day after day I sat teaching in the synagogues and you didn't come after me then, but all this has happened to fulfill what the prophets have written.
(Music cue: FINALE)
FINALE
Stephen
Oh God, I'm bleeding!
Oh God, I'm bleeding!
All
Oh God, you're bleeding!
(Short music break.)
Stephen
Oh God, I'm dying!
All
Oh God, you're dying!
Stephen
Oh God, I'm dying!
(Long music break, during which all climb and writhe on fence screaming and wailing.)
Stephen
Oh God, I'm dead!
All
Oh God, you're dead!
Oh God, you're dead!
Oh God, you're dead!
(Full stage freeze. All on floor as if dead.)
All
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
(All slowly move to Stephen's body, take it off fence and hoist it on their shoulders. Robin, Peggy, Sonia, hug each other; Robin DSL of the cortege, Sonia DSR, Peggy SR, begin rhythmic pantomime of walk DS.)
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God
Long live God

Prepare ye, the way of the Lord
Prepare ye, the way of the Lord
(Tempo pickup; singing continues as Stephen is carried off the stage and up the aisle. LONG LIVE GOD drops out, all sing PREPARE YE, ending with "THE WAY OF THE LORD", at the back of the house.)
THE END
(Stephen and Company return for curtain call.)