The Hollywood success of blockbusters like “Passion of the Christ” and “The Blind Side” has faith-based groups and entertainment executives looking to capture segments of the American audience eager for openly religious fare. Mr. Burnett’s “The Bible” has more mouths watering: In its first week of home video release last month, it became the top-selling TV miniseries of all time, selling 525,000 units, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
But theater presents different challenges. “Hollywood is in the business of catching lightning in a bottle twice,” says Jonathan Bock, president of Grace Hill Media, a marketing firm that has helped several Hollywood studios target religious audiences. “With movies, you can toe-dip with small releases or direct to DVD. On Broadway, you swing and hit or miss.”
The Broadway shows about religion that have been the most successful are the less-than-reverent ones….