Shows L

LEAP OF FAITH Musical in 2 acts: Music - Alan Menken; Lyrics - Glenn Slater; Book - Janus Cercone, Glenn Slater, Based on the 1992 film Leap of Faith Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles. Previews commenced on September 11 - 2 October (season) St. James Theatre, Broadway - 3rd April - 13 May, 2012 (24 previews, 20 perfs) Synopsis A con artist, the Reverend Jonas Nightingale, travels with his ministry, but his bus breaks down in a small Kansas town. The some-time reverend pitches a tent and invites the townspeople to a revival. However, the sheriff, a woman named Marla McGowan, is determined to stop Jonas from taking the people's money. Jonas is challenged when he becomes romantically involved with the sheriff. Her love forces the cynical Reverend to come to terms with his life. STORY Act I The curtain opens on a Broadway theatre in New York City. It has been transformed into the site of a threenight tent revival. The choir and preachers appear. Jonas Nightingale, a charismatic pastor, steps forward to greet the audience. As Jonas begins prophesying, we are taken to a dusty Kansas plain. Zak, a crew member, pushes himself out from under a bus sitting at an Arco station. The crew's transmission has been shot and it has been revealed that the traveling cons owe thousands of dollars to various towns they have visited in the past; crew members are not being paid and Jonas' checks are bouncing left and right. It becomes clear that Jonas has swindled hundreds of innocent Christians out of money over the years. Eventually, Jonas convinces his number two, Sam, to set-up in Sweetwater; a Midwest town suffering from the drought that may be looking for a miracle. The tent is now being put up as Jonas prepares for his last chance at a major payday. Marla McGowan, Sweetwater's buttoned-down Town Alderperson, comes across Jonas and his crew. She inquires further and voices her scepticism as Sam and Jonas insist that they can perform miracles. Suddenly, Marla reveals that she is the County Sheriff. After grilling the duo, Marla informs them that the tent revival team has three days to fix their bus and leave town. Marla departs and Jonas' crew gets to work, passing out flyers and approaching the locals. As time goes by, the 'angels' begin to canvas the town and collect stories, secrets, and other gossip to use in the tent revival. Later that evening, the first night of the tent revival; Zak introduces Jonas in a dramatically theatrical fashion, and the con man begins his sermon. Through a Bluetooth device, with Sam on the other end feeding information, Jonas begins to 'heal' the crowd and pass out offering baskets. In the midst of his healing, however, a young crippled boy - begging to be blessed - calls out to Jonas. Out of fear, he skips the child and moves to an elderly woman, inexplicably performing a miraculous act on the woman. We shift to backstage to find Ida Mae collecting the cash from the evening's service. Isaiah, Ida Mae's son, appears unexpectedly; he is on break from Bible College. When Isaiah reminds one of the helpers of his father, he and his mother reminisce about the man who is no longer with them. The conversation makes Ida Mae stop and reflect on her life and how she has made a living as a liar. Elsewhere, we see Jake with his mother, Sheriff McGowan, telling her about the tent revival - he is hurt to find that she is trying to push him out of town. Later, outside his motel room, Jonas is taking sips from his flask. Marla approaches to confront the con man. She hands him a thousand dollar fine and threatens to issue a second summons if he continues his act. Marla then reveals to Jonas that the crippled child is her son, Jake. Jonas uses it as an opportunity to flirt with Marla, much to her shock and dismay; the two begin sipping the flask together. Marla is eagerly challenging Jonas