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.