Leap of Faith
Based on the hit film, an unscrupulous faith healer finds unsuspecting love and finally sees the light.
Show Essentials
7
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

The curtain opens on a Broadway theatre in New York City. It has been transformed into the site of a three-night tent revival. The choir and preachers appear. Jonas Nightingale, a charismatic pastor, steps forward to greet the audience. As Jonas begins prophesying, we are taken to a dusty Kansas plain ("Rise Up!").

Zak, a crew member, pushes himself out from under a bus sitting at an Arco station. The crew's transmission has been shot, and it has been revealed that the traveling cons owe thousands of dollars to various towns that they have visited in the past; crew members are not being paid and Jonas' checks are bouncing, left and right. It becomes clear that Jonas has swindled hundreds of innocent Christians out of money over the years. Eventually, Jonas convinces his number two, Sam, to set up in Sweetwater; a drought-stricken town in the Midwest that may be looking for a miracle.

The tent is now being put up as Jonas prepares for his last chance at a major payday. Marla McGowan, Sweetwater's buttoned-down Town Alderperson, comes across Jonas and his crew. She inquires further and voices her skepticism as Sam and Jonas insist that they can perform miracles ("Fox in the Henhouse!"). Suddenly, Marla reveals that she is the County Sheriff. After grilling the duo, Marla informs them that the tent revival team has three days to fix their bus and leave town.

Marla departs as Jonas' crew gets to work, passing out flyers and approaching the locals. As time goes by, the "angels" begin to canvas the town and collect stories, secrets and other gossip to use in the tent revival ("Working in the Fields of the Lord").

Later that evening, the first night of the tent revival; Zak introduces Jonas in a dramatically theatrical fashion, and the con man begins his sermon ("Step Into The Light – Revival #1"). Through a bluetooth device, with Sam feeding information on the other end, Jonas begins to "heal" the crowd and pass out offering baskets. In the midst of his healing, however, a young crippled boy – begging to be blessed – calls out to Jonas. Out of fear, he skips the child and moves on to an elderly woman, inexplicably performing a miraculous act on the woman.

We shift to backstage to find Ida Mae collecting the cash from the evening's service. Isaiah, Ida Mae's son, appears unexpectedly; he is on break from Bible College. When Isaiah reminds one of the helpers of his father, he and his mother reminisce about the man who is no longer with them ("Walkin' Like Daddy"). The conversation makes Ida Mae stop and reflect on her life and how she has made a living as a liar ("Lost"). Elsewhere, we see Jake with his mother, Sheriff McGowan, telling her about the tent revival – he is hurt to find that she is trying to push him out of town.

Later, outside of his motel room, Jonas is taking sips from his flask. Marla approaches to confront the con man. She hands him a thousand dollar fine and threatens to issue a second summons if he continues his act. Marla then reveals to Jonas that the crippled child is her son, Jake. Jonas uses it as an opportunity to flirt with Marla, much to her shock and dismay; the two begin sipping the flask together ("I Can Read You"). Marla is eagerly challenging Jonas on both his manhood and his level of tolerance when, in an impulsive moment, the two kiss passionately and Marla pulls Jonas into the motel room.

Just as the door closes, Jake arrives to address the audience about his belief in God and how miracles can be like magic tricks ("Like Magic"). Eventually, Jake runs into Jonas outside of the motel room, and the two bond as Marla secretly looks on. When Jake departs, Marla and Jonas share one final tender moment before Sam arrives. When Sam realizes that Jonas has slept with the Sheriff, however, she expresses concern for involving emotions with the con act ("I Can Read You – Reprise").

Later, on Night Two of the tent revival, Sam is prepping the team. Isaiah, who has overheard Sam's speech, has become tired of the hypocrisy and deception ("Dancin' in the Devil's Shoes"). We transition to the climax of the Second Revival, as Jonas is concluding his sermon. When audience members begin to yell out for prayers, Sam attempts to direct Jonas to Jake; Jonas refuses. Eventually, it is too much for Jonas to ignore... but Marla stops him and stands up to expose Jonas and his crew for what they really are. Seeing an advantageous opportunity, Jonas quells the gasps and uses the "truth" as a false story of redemption ("King of Sin").

Beginning to sway the audience back to his side, Marla tries to regain control. When Sam forces Jonas to heal Jake, however, the young boy falls on his face in front of the audience; all are riveted and shocked. Marla has reached her boiling point and promptly arrests Jonas. As the Deputy drags the con man from the tent, he makes one final promise: if the tent is filled on the final night, there will be an astonishing miracle for the entire town!

Act Two

We find Jonas confined to a simple jail cell. Outside, on the street, the townspeople hold a vigil ("Rise Up! – Reprise"). Jake, who insists that he is okay, brings toast to Jonas. When Marla arrives, she informs Jonas that the citizens of the town have put up his bail. Despite the rift, Jonas tries to find out more about Marla's past and her bitterness ("Long Past Dreaming").

Now, at the tent, the crew prepares for its final revival. With everything that has occurred over the last 24 hours, many of the Angels question their commitment to the con. Ornella and Zak try to motivate the crew while others question Jonas' act ("Are You on the Bus?"). Throughout the preparations, opposition is intensifying; Jonas is confronted by Sam, Isaiah and his Angels. But, because of his stubborn ways, the con man ignores the warnings. Isaiah, who can take more, rushes to Marla at the Sheriff's office. He possesses the company books, which show proof of embezzlement and tax fraud. In haste, Isaiah agrees to hand over the records as long as everyone, except Jonas, walks free – Marla agrees, and a deal is struck.

Meanwhile, at the tent, Jonas sits alone, staring at the stage. Jake comes in, and Jonas insists that he stay at home for the final night, but Jake refuses, as he continues to believe that a miracle might happen ("Like Magic – Reprise"). Finally, Jonas screams at Jake and strides away. Marla is waiting for him, revealing that she has been given confidential information about his operations and plans to use it against them to shut the tent revival down. With Jonas storming off upon hearing the news, Sam tries to reason with Marla and help her to understand who Jonas is ("People Like Us").

The final night of service is now in full swing ("Last Chance Salvation"). As Jonas begins his healing, the crowd goes wild – stuffing money in basket after basket. Commotion ensues when Jake finally wheels himself over to Jonas; the crowd quiets down. Seeing this, Marla enters and surprises Jonas when she, too, demands "one final miracle" ("If Your Faith Is Strong Enough"). After a moment of healing, Jake attempts to take a step... but falls. The audience gasps. An unfazed Jake cries out for Jonas to begin praying for him, and the crowd joins in. Slowly, step by step, Jake walks. He eventually falls into Jonas' arms as everyone celebrates; Jonas is frozen by shock as he processes what has happened ("Jonas' Soliloquy").

The next day. Sunrise. We find Jonas' crew packing up equipment at the Arco station. Sam takes roll and notices that Jonas is not present. Isaiah was the last to see him as he went walking off into the fields. Suddenly, Jonas appears. Much to Sam's dismay, Jonas informs her that he is not leaving. He will step down and allow Isaiah to take over. Ida Mae and the others overhear this and come over to say their goodbyes ("Leap Intro"). As the bus finishes loading up, Jonas stands outside; Marla and Jake arrive. Jonas reveals that he has given a portion of their earnings to Jake's mom, and Marla offers Jonas a new life in Sweetwater, Kansas. The two passionately embrace as the skies open up. Rain pours down as the curtain falls, and Jake, Jonas and Marla stand in wonderment about all that has happened ("Leap of Faith").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Ethnic Roles
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Jonas Nightingale
Charismatic, rock star, preacher, and alleged healer. Complex, wired, and scheming, he is a drinker with a tumultuous past. Jonas is the brains behind and leader of the Angels of Mercy.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G2
Jake Mcgowan
Marla McGowan's wheelchair bound son. He is a beacon of hope for all that cross his path because of his radiant innocence and immeasurable capacity for belief. He is also a bit of a magician.
Gender: male
Age: 10 to 13
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ornella Sturdevant
Angels of Mercy Singer and Ida Mae's daughter. After a deplorable string of bad boyfriends and poor choices, she is trying to turn her life around. A loving, though argumentative, daughter and sister.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 25
Vocal range top: G#5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Sam Nightingale
Company Manager and Jonas's younger sister. She has a strong love for brother and a good head on her shoulders, but, due to financial circumstances, has no choice but to continue the Angels of Mercy along their tour of deception.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Ida Mae Sturdevant
Lead singer in Angels of Mercy and bookkeeper. She is a dedicated mother. Though a devout Christian, hard times have found the lines she so often drew between right-and-wrong rather fuzzy.
Gender: female
Age: 50 to 60
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: D3
Isaiah Sturdevant
Bible College Student and Ida Mae's son. Sharp and caring, he possesses commendable moral fiber. He is not afraid to go to great lengths to protect his family.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 24
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: Ab2
Marla Mcgowan
Sheriff of Sweetwater and Town Alderperson. Though an emotionally damaged widow, she is a loving mother. Marla is perceptive and attractive, but has more important business to which to attend than her appearance.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Ensemble
Angels; Townspeople; Choir
Full Song List
Leap of Faith: Rise Up!
Leap of Faith: Leap Preprise
Leap of Faith: Fox In The Henhouse
Leap of Faith: Working In The Fields Of The Lord
Leap of Faith: Step Into the Light
Leap of Faith: Walkin' Like Daddy
Leap of Faith: Lost
Leap of Faith: I Can Read You
Leap of Faith: Like Magic
Leap of Faith: I Can Read You (Reprise)
Leap of Faith: Dancin' In The Devil's Shoes
Leap of Faith: King Of Sin
Leap of Faith: Long Past Dreaming
Leap of Faith: Are You On The Bus?
Leap of Faith: People Like Us
Leap of Faith: Last Chance Salvation
Leap of Faith: If Your Faith Is Strong Enough
Leap of Faith: Jonas' Sololoquy
Leap of Faith: Leap Intro
Leap of Faith: Leap of Faith

Show History

Inspiration

Leap of Faith is a musical based on the 1992 American dramedy film of the same name. The film starred Steve Martin, Debra Winger and Liam Neeson. The film is about Jonas Nightingale, a fraudulent Christian faith healer who uses his revival meetings in Rustwater, Kansas, to bilk believers out of their money.

Productions

Leap of Faith received its first series of workshops in May of 2008. In early 2010, the musical was given a developmental workshop with director Rob Ashford. Leap of Faith made its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on September 11, 2010. The Los Angeles run was a limited engagement and was positively received.

Leap of Faith moved to Broadway on April 3, 2012, at the St. James Theatre. The production featured Raul Esparza, Jessica Phillips and Kendra Kassenbaum. The production closed on May 13, 2012, after 24 previews and 20 performances.

Trivia

  • The book was revised between its Los Angeles engagement and Broadway run – including major changes to the character of Jonas Nightingale's potential love interest – by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award winner Warren Leight.
  • Alan Menken's score was inspired by the sounds of gospel, country and American roots music.
  • Leap of Faith was nominated for several Drama Desk Awards and nominated in the Best Musical category for the 2012 Tony Awards.

Critical Reaction

"Pure Broadway razzmatazz! Leap of Faith delivers the goods!"
– Wall Street Journal

"High-energy entertainment! Ridiculously fun!"
– New York Post

"Far and away the best musical of the year!"
– WOR

Connect

Billing

Based on the motion picture, Leap of Faith, produced by Paramount Pictures and written by Janus Cercone.

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
LEAP OF FAITH
(100%)
 
Based on the Motion Picture, "Leap of Faith", 
produced by Paramount Pictures and written by Janus Cercone
(25%)
 
Music by
Book by
Lyrics by
ALAN MENKEN

(50%)

JANUS CERCONE and WARREN LEIGHT

(50%)

GLENN SLATER

(50%)

You agree to provide clear, legible and prominent credit on the title page of any and all Playbills and programs for your productions of the Play substantially as follows:
Original Broadway Production Produced by
Michael Manheim, James D. Stern, Douglas L. Meyer
Marc Routh Richard Frankel Tom Viertel Steven Baruch
Annette Niemtzow Daryl Roth Robert G. Bartner Steven and Shanna Silva
Endgame Entertainment Patricia Monaco Debi Coleman
Dancap Productions, Inc. Steve Kaplan, Relativity Media, LLC Rich/Caudwell
and
Center Theatre Group
in association with Michael Palitz Richard J. Stern Melissa Pinsly/Celine Rosenthal, Independent Presenters Network Diana Buckhantz
Pamela Cooper Vera Guerin Leading Investment Co., Ltd Christina Papagjika Victor Syrmis, Semlitz/Glaser Productions
and
Jujamcyn Theaters
 
(iii) In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, or where only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
LEAP OF FAITH
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK30
PIANO VOCAL SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
KEYBOARDTEK
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO-DIGITAL SCRIPT/SCORE
REFERENCE RECORDING
STAGE WRITE APPLICATION
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS(ELECTRIC BASS)
CELLO
DRUMSBELL TREE (SAMPLER) , CHIMES (SAMPLER) , DRUM KIT , MARK TREE (SAMPLER) , SMALL TRIANGLE
FULL SCORE VOL 1 OF 3
FULL SCORE VOL 2 OF 3
FULL SCORE VOL 3 OF 3
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , ACOUSTIC W/SLIDE , ELECTRIC GUITAR , NYLON ACOUSTIC , ROCK GUITAR , STEEL ACOUSTIC
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE
REED 2ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , ENGLISH HORN , OBOE
REED 3BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , FLUTE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
REED 4BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASSOON , CLARINET
TROMBONEBASS TROMBONE , TROMBONE
TRUMPETFLUGELHORN , TRUMPET
TRUMPET 2FLUGELHORN , TRUMPET
TRUMPET 3FLUGELHORN , TRUMPET
VIOLA
VIOLIN