Country music songstress and committed Christian Trisha Yearwood will play the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in The Passion, a live two-hour musical event set to air on the network on Palm Sunday, March 20th. Filmmaker Tyler Perry will play the musical's host and narrator.
The Passion recounts the last hours of Jesus Christ's lifeThe Passion as he presides over the Last Supper and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The classic tale, which will be told through the music of Whitney Houston, Imagine Dragons and others, will unfold live over two hours at some of New Orleans' most iconic locations. It will also feature new recordings by Yearwood and singer-songwriter Prince Royce as the apostle Peter.
The ambitious production is expected to culminate in a procession of hundreds carrying a 20-foot illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to a live stage at Woldenburg Park.
In a release accompanying the announcement, Yearwood's role is described thusly: "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." The Passion is written by High School Musical scribe Peter Barsocchini, with the songs arranged by Adam Anders (Glee).
Yearwood, who has previously acted on television in the series JAG and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, is currently on tour with husband Garth Brooks with upcoming shows in Sunrise, Florida, Baltimore and Worcester, Massachusetts. Yearwood rose to fame in 1991 with her debut single "She's in Love with the Boy", which became her first No. 1 single and was featured on her self-titled debut album.
Yearwood has continued to find success and widespread critical acclaim, releasing a further 10 studio albums, which have spawned eight more No. 1 singles and 20 top-10 hits combined, including "Walkaway Joe", "The Song Remembers When", "Thinkin' About You", "I'll Still Love You More", and "I Would've Loved You Anyway". In 1997, Yearwood recorded the song "How Do I Live" for the soundtrack of the movie Con Air. It became her signature song, achieving high positions and sales worldwide, and won her a Grammy Award.