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Tear Jerker: Godspell
  • This troper did a production of it two years ago, and still can't listen to "On the Willows" without bawling.
  • Not to mention the Finale and "Long live God".
    • How about the song just preceding, when Jesus was dying and singing "Oh God, I'm bleeding..." (I assume this isn't a spoiler, most people know Jesus dies, right?) This troper was in anguish during that scene.
    • That is the finale.
  • This troper has only seen one version and isn't sure how much is scripted and how much was unique to that one production, but the music in "On the Willows" wasn't nearly as bad as the action: Jesus slowly goes around to each disciple and says a silent goodbye, and even though they don't understand what's going to happen they instinctively know that it's something bad. But what really got this troper was a few minutes earlier during "By My Side": the song had Jesus sitting on the floor and the soloists standing around him (which is a switch from the rest of the show) and by the end all of the disciples (except Judas) were gathered around him, holding his hands and singing to him, and he just looked so surprised and touched that they would be singing this sweet song for him, like he never expected to actually be one of them but he truly belongs now. It's made so much worse because you know that he knows what's coming.
    • God, "By My Side" is heartbreaking. Original troper here, and yeah, virtually every version of Godspell is completely different. Most of the script is kept faithful to the original production, but the staging, costumes, and ad-libs are up to the individual production. This troper always cried during "By My Side" because the actress doing the mezzo half of the solo - the "adulteress" from the previous parable - would walk up to Jesus on the line "I will take him from my shoe, singing 'meet your new road'" and give him back the flower he'd conjured for her during "All for the Best" and kissing him on the cheek.
  • This troper's school did a production. She knew the actor for Jesus very well and... let's just say he was very good at acting death. And of course, earlier, when the whole cast was screaming at Judas as he tied Jesus up and dragged him to the cross, Judas looked as though he was about to break down himself. Thank God for waterproof mascara.
  • During the "On the Willows" scene, it's when all of the Disciples remove their makeup, signifying their return to being human beings. The first touching moment is when Jesus holds up a mirror to Judas, as if to tell him "Take a good look at yourself", then starts removing his makeup. However, he's only the first, and it's not a punishment. All of the Disciples are returning to being normal human beings. When Victor reaches to remove Jesus' makeup, he stops him, and shakes his hand wistfully "no." Another moment is when Jesus says one of them will betray him, and each of the Disciples ask jestfully, "Can you mean me?" When Judas asks, "Rabbi? Can you mean me?", Jesus tells him, "Do what you must do." Shockingly (to the other Disciples, of course), he runs off. That's what makes the "On the Willows" scene so sad.
  • In some productions, each Disciple has their own little gimmick that they periodically do throughout the show, especially during their spotlight song. During "On the Willows," each one performs their gimmick for Jesus one last time before he goes off to die.
  • The new version of "Beautiful City" is this crossed with a Heartwarmer. The arrangement has been stripped down, becoming something of a hopeful lament by Jesus, praying for a future that he knows he'll not survive to see. (At least in this incarnation.)
  • This troper is work on her college's production of the revival version. Note that this is Mississippi. We have some projectors hooked up to show different things during the show such as the philosophers' names during "Tower of Babel", Judas's segment during "By My Side",and, for "Beautiful City"... photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Not quite sure how I'll be able to see what I'm during the actual performances...
  • As with the play, the film ends the morning after the crucifixion of Christ as his disciples (some crying) carry him away, leading into a reprise of "Day By Day". They round a corner of a building, and the camera then rounds it as well—and other people of New York City are walking past, a huge crowd of them, as the song continues in voiceover (we hadn't seen anyone but Jesus and his disciples in the city since the long prologue); the last shot is a freeze-frame of ordinary people going about ordinary lives. After the intensity of the crucifixion sequence, this ending can be a punch to the gut.
Fiddler on the RoofTearJerker/TheaterIn the Heights

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