Following a show format that originated in the Netherlands, where annual broadcasts of "The Passion” became a pop culture phenomenon, Dick Clark Productions planned to bring a similar version of the program to U.S. television audiences.
Producers chose New Orleans as the ideal location for this first-of-its-kind production. Hosted and narrated by Tyler Perry, "The Passion” was set in modern times and featured a cast of pop artists including Trisha Yearwood and Seal, who portrayed Biblical characters and retold the story in part by performing contemporary hit songs.
"The Passion” was broadcast live from a towering stage on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Throughout the show, producers cut away from the story to live coverage of volunteers carrying a huge, illuminated cross through the streets of New Orleans, eventually arriving on the stage. Other portions of the show were pre-recorded at locations around the city.
It was an ambitious production, and Dick Clark Productions asked Solomon Group to provide several key services, including the fabrication of a massive live stage at Woldenberg Park, audio production services, production management and the fabrication of a custom-built 20-foot illuminated cross, which was carried for a mile and a half during the broadcast.