This electrifying rock musical voices the desires of a generation yearning for a greater understanding of their world.
Show Essentials

Full Synopsis

Musicians enter, take positions and tune up.The music begins. Monday, Dierdre and Leroy enter through the audience arguing. The musicians are distracted, stop and begin arguing with the actors. Monday describes the the music as junk, saying that it is misleading the audience. The music has nothing to do with "salvation," and that's what the play is called. The band tries to have Monday sit down, but he refuses. He calls upon the audience and asks them if they know what "salvation" means. After scolding the musicians, Monday calls on the cast to give testimony for Jesus ("Salvation").

They all come forward and begin tearing at Monday's clothes, until he is left in red bikini underwear. Marc brings him a robe and transforms him into a "Savior-like" figure. Monday picks up an aerosol can and sprays each of them. Betty Lou steps forward, proclaiming her sins. She tells him that she wants Jesus in the morning and evening but, unfortunately, wants everyone else for the rest of the time ("In Between").

Betty Lou leaves, and Leroy comes forward and asks to be forgiven for "spilling his seed" over and over. If he is forgiven this time, he promises never to do it again ("1001"). Monday forgives Leroy, but no sooner is Leroy saying his five Hail Marys, than Farley bursts forward, declaring the whole thing to be a complete sham! Monday is declaring sex to be a sin, which Farley fights him on ("Honest Confession Is Good for the Soul").

Boo also argues with Monday, wondering how things can be sinful when they make her feel so good. Farley sees this as an honest confession, but Monday asks him to sit down and keep quiet. Monday then asks the group: What is the purpose of Sundays? He asks them to review the days of the week, starting with Monday, so that they can save their favorite day for last. Nobody has much to say about the days of the week, other than that they work and then get paid on Friday. They all agree that Saturday is "the day you throw it all away." Farley steps forward to talk about Sunday – it's the perfect day to have a great time ("Ballin'")!

The cast goes crazy, undressing in the process. Monday flees to the pool of holy water and sprinkles some on the audience. He then pulls a screen onstage to cover the actors and their antics. Acting drastically, Monday gives the group a list of sex rules by which they must live. After he finishes, Dierdre tells of how she fought off the advances of a man for quite some time. Unfortunately, he was killed in Vietmam, and she never was able to be with him in the way that she always wanted ("Let the Moment Slip By").

Monday doesn't want to hear this story so he commands Boo to begin a new game. Boo responds that her name isn't Boo, today... it's Gina ("Gina"). Marc and Farley try to have sex with her.

After this, Monday comes forward and encourages the audience to applaud even louder... then softer... in a certain rhythm, but Farley is attempting to distract them. Monday finally loses his temper and explodes at Farley. Once again, the cast wonders why it is that they can't have sex unless they are married ("If You Let Me Make Love to You, Why Can't I Touch You?"). Farley tries to convince Monday that sex is good, but Monday is having none of it. Soon, the entire cast is getting tired of listening to what Monday has to say. To halt the uprising, Monday teaches the group a game called "Band." He makes Leroy the leader and has him assign each person an instrument. They play a tune that resembles Salvation Army music, but Leroy wants to do a song with genuine soul ("There Ain't No Flies on Jesus").

The cast seems back on track, and Monday offers them the chance to confess. Ranee is ready and confesses that she aborted the child of a man who came into her life, then left her ("Deadalus").

Betty Lou and Marc tell the story of a husband who puts God above all else. He refuses to do anything on Sunday, aside from worshiping the Lord, putting a strain on his marriage. Betty Lou and Marc find this behavior senseless ("Deuteronomy XVII Verse 2"). Farley takes Marc and turns him to Leroy, who comforts him ("For Ever / Footloose Youth and Fancy Free").

Monday then asks the audience to contribute to the church. The cast goes throughout the audience taking up a collection. When the cast returns to the stage with the collection, Monday puts all of the money in his pocket. Farley questions him on this, and Monday agrees to share it with everyone, celebrating the ecumenical movement of the church ("Schwartz"). One by one, the cast members leave the stage as Monday tells them that their native religion is meaningless under the guidelines of the ecumenical movement. Eventually, Monday is left on the stage, alone, after he has offended everyone and their individual faiths.

Elsewhere, the cast is "smoking" from a giant Coke bottle, doing drugs and getting stoned ("Let's Get Lost in Now"). Farley once again confronts Monday, saying that he has presented God to them in so many ways – why can't he just make up his mind? Monday informs them that God is actually a verb ("Back to Genesis"). He reminds them that if they all go back to the beginning of simplicity, they will find the true meaning of God. The cast has an epiphany as the curtain falls ("Tomorrow Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life").



Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

The youthful, handsome preacher. Inspired by his father to spread the word of God to all, he faces constant challenges to his faith from the people around him and in his life.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
A seemingly normal woman on the service. Underneath, she holds many secrets and has a disturbed past.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
A very simple, average girl who is still discovering herself. She longs for the one that got away.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
A tall, carefree gospel type. He is a habitual womanizer and has problems with promiscuity.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: Ab2
A cynical, hard-driven man. He discovers a personal obsession with religion senseless.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Betty Lou
A notoriously smoky and sexy figure. She possesses a second side to her that is much softer, however.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: D3
A rebellious and loud woman full of youth. She lives a care-free life by embracing her numerous sins.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
An energetic nay-sayer and antagonist to Monday. He constantly tries to create anarchy with others in order to combat Monday's regimented rigor.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 35
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Full Song List
Salvation: Overture
Salvation: Salvation
Salvation: In Between
Salvation: 1001
Salvation: Honest Confession Is Good For The Soul
Salvation: Let The Moment Slip By
Salvation: Gina
Salvation: Forever
Salvation: Back To Genesis
Salvation: Tomorrow Is The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life

Show History


Salvation is a religious-based musical written by Peter Link and C.C. Courtney.  Courtney came up with the original idea, derived from his general frustration with organized religion.  He has said, "I was walking through Central Park, and the whole show just sort of came to me on that 20-minute walk. I usually did the concept and the book and the lyrics, and Peter did the music. So I hit him with the idea and he was hot to do that. In fact, he probably was more anxious to do it than I was..., He's very productive. So I said let's do it, and I started working on the lyrics and giving them to him as fast as I could. So it became, in effect, well, the plot is pretty much my life story."


Salvation first premiered as part of a showcase at The Village Gate nightclub in NYC's Greenwich Village on March 11, 1969.  Producer David Black (George M!) happened to see the production and went to the creators with the plan to bring the show to the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  The booking was canceled, allegedly by Lincoln Center Repertory director Robert Montgomery, who apparently thought that the material was too risque for Lincoln Center.

Despite initial struggles, Black was able to move the musical to the Jan Hus Playhouse for a run Off-Broadway from September 24, 1969, to April 19, 1970.  Black had convinced the creators to close the New York production for the summer, hoping to bring the show to Los Angeles for a tryout and take it back to Broadway in the fall.  However, the so-so casting of the Los Angeles production quashed any chances of Salvation making it on Broadway.

Cultural Influence

  • Singer Ronnie Dyson recorded a cover of the song "(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?"  The single sold over a million copies and peaked at #8 on the Billboard charts in the 1970s


  • The original Off-Broadway production of Salvation was on the ballot in Variety magazine for both Best Composer and Best Lyrics.
  • Celebrities who have appeared in Salvation include: Bette Midler, Barry Bostwick (Monday), Joe Morton (Mark), Yolande Bavan (Renee) and Marta Heflin (Betty Lou).  Creators Peter Link and C.C. Courtney also appeared in the original production at Farley and Monday, respectively.

Drama Desk Award

1970 - Most Promising Musical Writer, Winner (C.C. Courtney)
1970 - Most Promising Musical Writer, Winner (Peter Link)




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The New Rock Musical
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