Religion on Broadway

The shows this season that have touched on religion offer different approaches, as I point out in an article in Howlround entitled “Does God Exist on Stage? Theater and Religion” 

Some ridicule organized religion (The Book of Mormon) ;

others reflect specific doctrines, or try to reproduce the awe felt by believers (Our Lady of Kibeho; The Oldest Boy); still others focus on characters engaged in some kind of internal struggle (Disgraced; Grand Concourse).

These are recent or current shows on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages.

Broadway has a long history of shows that in one way or another reflect religious faith, some more overtly than others.

Jesus Christ Superstar


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (based on the “coat of many colors” story from the Bible). Here’s a clip from the movie adaptation

Sister Act

Leap of Faith

Plays include “A Man for All Seasons” by Robert Bolt

and “Becket” by Jean Anouilh.

Then there is theater in which religion plays a part. Here is the Sabbath Prayer scene and song from Fiddler on the Roof

Recall that Maria in The Sound of Music is at first in a convent, and has a crisis of faith

Some would argue that other popular Broadway shows have messages that appeal to people who are religious

Bring Him Home from Les Miserables

The Lion King

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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