Cotton Patch Gospel (musical)

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Cotton Patch Gospel is musical play about the life of Jesus Christ. Harry Chapin was the composer and lyricist for the play. The play is based on Clarence Jordan's book "The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John". While completed the music in his life time, Chapin did not live to see it's first performance. After Harry's death, brother Tom took over the role of musical director and the play premiered in fall of 1981.

A commercial cast album and video of the play are also available.


  1. "Something's Brewing in Gainesville"
  2. "I Did It/Mama Is Here"
  3. "It Isn't Easy"
  4. "Sho Nuff"
  5. "Turn It Around"
  6. "When I Look Up"
  7. "Busy Signals"
  8. "Spitball"
  9. "Going to Atlanta"
  10. "Are We Ready?"
  11. "You are Still My Boy"
  12. "We Gotta Get Organized"
  13. "We're Gonna Love It While It Lasts"
  14. "Jubilation"
  15. "The Last Supper'
  16. "Jud"
  17. "Thank God for Governor Pilate"
  18. "One More Tomorrow"
  19. "Well I Wonder"

Premiere performance

Cotton Patch Gospel premiered on October 21, 1981 at Lambs Theatre in New York City and ran for 193 performances.

It starred Tom Key and featured the band known as the Cotton Pickers that was put together for the show. The Cotton Pickers were:

Other credits include

Performances (partial list)


  • October 21 - Opened at Lambs Theatre in NYC,USA. This original production ran for 183 performances.


  • July 18 - Opened at the Woodstock, IL USA Opera House. It played through August 24.


  • April 4 - Citrus College, Azusa, CA USA
  • November 14-16 - First Christian Church, by the Studio Repertory Company, - a benefit for River City Habitat for Humanity


  • April 23-25 - Bevier Hall, University of Illinois, Urbana, by the Christian Theatre Music Group
  • October 24 - Carson Valley United Methodist Church, Gardnerville, NV, USA
  • November 21 - Pacific Theater, BC, Canada. the play was reviewed by the BC Christian News


  • March 17-19,24-26 - Stow Presbyterian Church, Stow, OH, USA
  • June 7-10 - Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA



  • April 28 - June 5- Provision Theater Company, Chicago,IL, USA
  • Early October-November 20 - Theater Outfit at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, Atlanta, GA. Tom Key returns to the reprise role he originated in the premier over 20 years ago. The review in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution [1] says "Verdict: Might make you believe, in something."



  • July 19-22 - Fairfax Community Theatre Company, Fairfax, VT, USA. They also produced a short PSA style ad for their production and published it on YouTube[2].
  • November 15 to December 1 - Brownsboro High School, Brownsboro, TX, USA.


  • January 4-13 - St. Luke United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN, USA.
  • February 7-16 - Ocoee Players, Cleveland, TN, USA.
  • February 14-16 - University Congregational Church in Wichita, KS, USA. Half the proceeds will go to the local food bank.
  • February 21-March 2 - Stained Glass Theatre, Joplin, MO, USA.
  • February 22-24 - St John's Lutheran Church, Anchor, IL, USA.
  • February 22-24 - Second Avenue Baptist Church, Rome, GA, USA.
  • April 2-6 - Eastern University Theatre, St. Davids, PA, USA.
  • May 1-11 - Old Courthouse Theatre, Concord, NC, USA
  • June 13-28 - Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing, Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
  • October 1-21 - PlayRight Productions, Kennessaw, GA, USA.


  • May 30-June 14 - Totem Pole Playhouse, Fayetteville, PA, USA


  • March 30 - April 2 - Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope, AL.[2]
  • April 1 - April 10 - The Alexandria Area Arts Association has a two week run at the AAAA Theater in Alexandria, MN.[3]

Unknown dates

  • Actor's Summit Akron, OH, USA performance was reviewed by Plain Dealer
  • The Edyth Bush Theatre in Orlando, FL, USA featured a young Wayne Brady in their production. The date was probably the early 1990's. The performance, but not the date, is mentioned in his official biography.
  • The Special Consensus toured for three seasons as the cast of Cotton Patch Gospel.


  1. ""Cotton Patch Gospel" Coming to Westminster April 7 and 9" New Wilmington, PA: Westminster University. Retrieved 2011-03-19  
  2. "Cotton Patch Gospel ~ a musical play" Trinity Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 2011-3-13  
  3. "Our 2010-11 Season" Alexandria Area Arts Association. Retrieved 2011-3-13  

External links