Godspell premiered off Broadway, moved to Broadway's Broadhurst Theater on June 22, 1976, and ran for 527 performances. Robin Lamont was the only player in the original off-Broadway cast, the movie version, and the Broadway cast.
During "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" everyone except Jesus jumps into "The Angel of the Waters" fountain, also known as the Bethesda Fountain, in New York City's Central Park. "Bethesda" is a reference to a pool described in the Gospel of John that is supposed to have healing properties.
Two major songs from the original stage musical are instrumentals. "We Beseech Thee" is in the Cherry Lane Theatre scene; "Learn Your Lessons Well" is in the "car calliope" scene. "Beautiful City", a new song written for the movie, has become a part of subsequent stage versions.
In a letter published in the Dec. 6, 1972 issue of Variety, director David Greene wrote "Tebelak and I are enjoying an ideally smooth working relationship... but he is not co-directing the film with me. He did not write the screenplay. He participated only minimally in pre-production planning and discussions, and attended very few rehearsals."