(FOX) Three-time Grammy Award winner and country superstar Trisha Yearwood has been tapped to play Mary, the mother of Jesus, in THE PASSION, a two-hour musical event, airing LIVE from New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Also, multi-Platinum recording artist Prince Royce will play the disciple Peter. Yearwood and Royce join Tyler Perry, who was previously announced as the event’s host and narrator.
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 including Yearwood and Royce, and arranged specifically for this event by executive producer and hit 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.
Trisha Yearwood possesses one of the most powerful voices in music, is the epitome of southern charm, and a C.E.O. as well. She has built an empire by following her inner voice, which has resonated with millions. In November 2014, the Platinum-selling, multiple-Grammy Award, CMA Award and ACM Award-winning artist released her 12th album, “PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit,” while touring as part of the history-making and ongoing Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood. Yearwood is also the author of three New York Times best-selling cookbooks and hosts the Emmy Award-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.” Additionally, the lifestyle maven has launched her own romantic, but modern, take on cookware and furniture with her healthy home cookware, Precious Metals, and the Trisha Yearwood Home Collection with Klaussner Home Furnishings.
Since releasing his triple-Platinum self-titled debut album in 2010, New York-born singer and songwriter Prince Royce has become a bona fide Latin music superstar by bringing a mix of Bachata music (a romantic, acoustic guitar-driven style that originated in the Dominican Republic) and contemporary R&B to the Spanish-speaking world. He has scored 11 No. 1 hits collectively on the Latin and Tropical charts, won 20 Latin Billboard Awards and earned eight Latin Grammy nominations. Along the way, Royce has amassed a huge fan base with more than one billion streams online and more than 32.8 million Facebook followers. His debut album eventually reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Tropical and Latin Albums charts and was the best-selling Latin album of 2011 in the U.S., going triple-Platinum (Latin), and spawning four singles. Now signed to RCA Records, Royce is grateful for the opportunity to bring his music to a brand-new audience. In November 2014, he released the electro-pop/R&B banger “Stuck on a Feeling,” featuring Snoop Dogg, followed by the May release of the dancehall-flavored “Back It Up” (featuring Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez) – two tracks from his first English-language album, “Double Vision.” Royce’s current Spanish-language single “Culpa Al Corazón” is #1 on the Billboard Latin Tropical Chart.
Peter Barsocchini is best known as the writer of the hit franchise “High School Musical,” a global blockbuster that generated stage versions, an ice show, concert tour, books, electronic games and more than 200 consumer products, as well as feature film remakes in China and Mexico. It continues to be one of the most performed stage productions at schools in the U.S. and the U.K. A former journalist, novelist and Emmy Award-winning producer (“The Merv Griffin Show”), he also has written screenplays (“Drop Zone”). Current projects include the Laurence Mark-produced animated musical “Vivo”, on which he collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda of Broadway’s “Hamilton,” and “Chica,” a one-hour drama pilot script.
THE PASSION is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro (CEO, dick clark productions), Mike Mahan (President, dick clark productions), Mark Bracco (Executive Vice President, Programing and Development, dick clark productions), Jacco Doornbos (CEO and Creative Director of Eye2Eye Media), Adam Anders (CEO, Anders Media Inc.) and David Grifhorst (“The Passion: Netherlands”) will serve as executive producers. Robert Deaton (“CMA Awards”) also will serve as executive producer and showrunner.