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Godspell

Godspell (full title is Godspell: A Musical Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew) is a 1973 musical film. It is a film adaptation of the 1971 Off-Broadway musical Godspell (in turn based on the Gospel of Matthew), created by John-Michael Tebelak with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Directed by David Greene with stars Victor Garber as Jesus and David Haskell as Judas/John the Baptist, the film is set in contemporary New York City. Tebelak is credited as co-writer of the screenplay and served as the creative consultant, although director David Greene said Tebelak did not write the screenplay.

Plot

The structure of the musical is, in large part, retained: a series of parables from the Gospel of Matthew, interspersed with musical numbers. Many of the scenes take advantage of well-known sites around an empty, still New York City. John the Baptist gathers a diverse band of youthful disciples to follow and learn from the teachings of Jesus. These disciples then proceed to form a roving acting troupe that enacts Jesus's parables through the streets of New York. They often make references to vaudeville shtick.