The team behind the Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak's "Godspell" announced today that Hunter Parrish, of Showtime's "Weeds," will be playing Jesus in the production.
In a statement to Playbilll, Hunter Parrish said he was "elated" to join the cast of the musical, which is based on a series of parables from the Gospel of Matthew.
"I knew after meeting with the creative team that I was going to be a part of something really exciting," he said. "I can't wait to get started."
The revival, which was only confirmed a few months ago, is set to begin performances on October 13 at the Circle in the Square Theater. The director Daniel Goldstein will be making his Broadway debut with this production, though according to the "Godspell" blog, he once played Jesus himself in a 1988 version at the storied Catskills theater camp, Stage Door Manor. Zach Braff played Judas.
On July 7, "Godspell" held an open casting call for actors and singers.
"'Godspell' has an incredible tradition of launching the careers of tomorrow's stars," producer Ken Davenport told Broadway.com. "Martin Short, Victor Garber, Gilda Radner, Jeremy Irons and Geoffrey Rush all appeared in 'Godspell' early in their careers. The upcoming Broadway production will without a doubt launch the next generation of stars, and I want to make sure that everyone who has ever had a dream of being on Broadway has the chance to be seen."
No word yet on whether or not anyone was discovered at those open casting calls, but if this first piece of casting news is any indication, it looks like they're going the celebrity route.
The original production of "Godspell" began as Tebelak's college thesis in the early 1970s, and soon became one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals in history, before making the transfer to Broadway. A film version was released in 1973.