Trisa Yearwood has been cast as Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Fox’s two-hour musical event “The Passion.” Additionally, recording artist Prince Royce was set to play disciple Peter in the Tyler Perry-hosted special.
“The Passion,” written by Peter Barsocchini (“High School Musical”), tells the 2000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth through a variety of popular music, sung by the cast and arranged specifically for this event by executive producer and music producer Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”).
Set in modern day, the event will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. As Mary follows her son into Jerusalem, she already has witnessed Jesus struggle with opposition from other religious leaders, but bolsters him with the boundless depth of a mother’s love. Peter, meanwhile, remains one of Jesus’ closest confidantes, but his loyalty will be sternly tested.
The event will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
“The Passion” is produced by Dick Clark Productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco, Jacco Doornbos, and David Grifhorst will serve as executive producers. Robert Deaton also will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
The Perry-narrated special airs live on Palm Sunday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET. It will be tape-delayed for the west coast.