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Godspell is a musical based on the Gospel of Saint Matthew with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak. Following closely on the heels of the similarly-themed Jesus Christ Superstar, it opened off-Broadway on May 17, 1971 and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since. Several cast albums have been released over the years and one of its songs, Day By Day from the original cast album, reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the summer of 1972. The show originated in 1970 as Tebelak's master's thesis project, under the direction of Lawrence Carra, at Carnegie Mellon University. Most of the score's lyrics were from the Episcopal Hymnal, set to music by the cast members. Tebelak then directed it, with much of the student cast, for a two-week run at New York's experimental venue Cafe La MaMa, opening February 24, 1971. It caught the eye of producers Edgar Lansbury and Joseph Beruh, who wanted to open it off-Broadway. The producers hired Stephen Schwartz, another alumnus of Carnegie Mellon's theater department, to write a new song score (although By My Side was retained from the original score). Schwartz's songs included a variety of musical styles, from pop to folk rock, gospel, and vaudeville. As with the original score, most of the non-Schwartz lyrics were from the Episcopal Hymnal. Godspell became one of the longest-running off-Broadway musicals before moving to Broadway in June 1976, where it ended its run in September 1977 after an additional 527 performances, for a total of more than 2,600. A film version of the musical was released in 1973, set in modern New York, and featuring Victor Garber as Jesus, David Haskell as John the Baptist/Judas, and Lynne Thigpen in her first film role. John-Michael Tebelak co-wrote the screenplay and served as the creative consultant. The song Beautiful City was written for and first included in the film, while the songs "Learn Your Lessons Well" and "We Beseech Thee" were left out.