Prologue: "Tower of Babble"
"Tower of Babble" is the opening number of the show, and is often seen as omittable. Many community productions leave out the number due to lack of ability or simply because they don't view it as necessary to the story and message of "Godspell" and find it confusing. The song consists of the 8 disciples (or soloists) acting out as philosophers, each singing their various philosophical view-points, as they grow increasingly more irritated with each other, they sing in contradiction and eventually run out of words, and "Prepare Ye" begins.
"Beautiful City" was written in 1972 as part of the film and re-written in 1993 after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Its position in the film is directly after "By My Side", which in turn follows directly on from "Alas for You", omitting the parable in between. This introduces a sequence in which Jesus overturns the tables at the Temple before the Pharisees. Fearful of reprisals for what he has done, he then flees, followed by the disciples, who ask, "Where are you going? Can you take me with you?" and they are reunited with Jesus, and sing "Beautiful City".
Many theatrical directors choose to use it in place of the "Day by Day" reprise. "Beautiful City" has also been used at the very end of the play in an additional dialogue-free scene that depicts the Resurrection, which was not depicted in the original. Another popular option is replacing "Tower of Babble" with "Beautiful City" to start the show.
"Beautiful City" is included with your Theatre maximus package.
The Song List
- Act I
- Opening (Monologue) - Jesus
- Prologue: Tower of Babble - Company
- Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord - John the Baptist and Company
- Save the People - Jesus and Company
- Day By Day - Soloist 1 and Company
- Learn Your Lessons Well - Soloist 2, Jesus, and Company
- O Bless the Lord - Soloist 3 and Company
- All for the Best - Jesus, Judas, and Company
- All Good Gifts - Soloist 4 and Company
- Light of the World - Soloist 5 and Company
- Act II
- Learn Your Lessons Well (Reprise) - Company
- Turn Back, O Man - Soloist 6 and Company
- Alas for You - Jesus
- By My Side - Soloist 7 and Company - Written by Peggy Gordon and Jay Hamburger
- Beautiful City - Jesus
- We Beseech Thee - Soloist 8 and Company
- Day By Day (Reprise) - Company
- On The Willows - Judas/The Band
- Finale - Jesus and Company