Lazarus: The Musical

The premiere of the new arrangement of Lazarus: The Musical, was one of the highlights of Bread for the World’s 2013 National Gathering. Bread for the World is putting on another performance of it in a few weeks here in Washington D.C. in honor of my good friend Bishop Don Williams.

If you’re not failure with it, it tells an inspiring story of judgment and redemption, hunger and hope that retells Jesus’ parable about the hungry man at the rich man’s door in Luke 16th. 

I would love it if you could come!

Lazarus is an original work of Bread for the World, written by Rev. Joel Underwood in the 1980s. This musical features more than 30 original songs, including “Where Can I Find Bread” and “Faith of a Mustard Seed.” Renowned composer Bill Cummings revived the musical in 2013, providing a tasteful variety of musical styles.

If you love musicals, and if ending hunger and poverty is part of your faith call, join Bread for the World for an inspiring evening.

When: May 31, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00)
Where: Cramton Auditorium, Howard University Washington, D.C.

If you live near D.C. come and join me! I would love to meet you and enjoy this musical with you!

The new Lazarus premiered last year to a sold-out crowd in Washington, D.C. So don’t wait! Buy your tickets now at Ticketmaster.  

To get the discounted price of $20 use the code endhunger (regular price is $40). I look forward to your presence on May 31!

About the Musical

Lazarus was originally composed in the mid 1980s by Rev. Joel Underwood, Bread for the World’s former director of church relations. Louise F. Carlson and Sam V. Nickels arranged his music. In 2013, noted musical director Dr. Bill Cummings re-arranged the music to make it more contemporary. But the words and the story remain the same. The parable, found in Luke 16:19-31, features the story of a rich man (Dives) and a beggar (Lazarus) and their relationship in life and in the afterlife. Lazarus: The Musical brings Luke’s narrative into today’s world—and into places where extreme wealth and poverty rub against each other.

Besides Lazarus and Dives, the characters of this musical include Dives’ five brothers, their wives, landless laborers, and children living in poverty. It also features Abraham, a troubadour who serves as the narrator. While it recognizes the somber ending of the original biblical story, Lazarus allows us to consider what might have happened if had Dives been given a second chance. Along with Dives, the audience is also given a new opportunity to respond to hunger. The premiere of the new Lazarus is produced by Bread for the World, with Bill Cummings and Bishop Don DiXon Williams as the producers. The choral director is performing artist Felicia Kessel Crawley, and the musical director is White House musician Glen Pearson.



“Powerful in its simplicity.”
— Holy Cross Lutheran Church (performed in 1995 and 2005), Libertyville, Ill.

“A great musical  …  good Christian entertainment.”
— Carla Constanza,  broadcast professional, New Orleans. (Review from, 2010)


The following are songs from the new Lazarus, sung by Bill Cummings. A CD of the music and the new score will be available soon.

1) The Ballad of Lazarus

2) We Having a Banquet

3) Hunger and Poverty Blues

4) We Give Thanks

5) Where Can I Find Bread

6) Purple and Fine Linen

7) Eating is Wonderful

8) Now the Day is Ending

9) Mama, I’m Hungry

10) Come and Mourn

11) Crumbs From Your Table

12) Congratulation Soul

13) I am Lazarus

14) Heavenly Feast

15) Are You the Boy

16) I Saw The People Gather

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