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Following its well-received premiere in Chicago last year, Amazing Grace transfers to Broadway. A historical epic that tells the story of the famous hymn's less famous composer, the Englishman John Newton, the show is a boldly designed, rip-roaring adventure, which nevertheless explores its real-life inspiration with seriousness and sensitivity. The Chicago try-out, which took place at the Bank of America Theatre, was hailed for its ambition in tackling such weighty subjects, while still infusing its tale with lively production and smart, melodious numbers.
Most of the talented ensemble transfer to New York. Leading the cast in the role of Newton is Tony nominee Josh Young, who received his award nod back in 2012 on his Broadway debut in Jesus Christ Superstar. Also returning are Tony winner Chuck Cooper (The Life), Chris Hoch (Matilda), Erin Mackey (Chaplin) and Stanley Bahorek. The music and lyrics are by Christopher Smith and the book by Smith and Arthur Giron, while choreography comes courtesy of Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies). The director is Gabriel Barre (The Wild Party).
Amazing Grace tells the story of John Newton, the former slave trader who, following his conversion to Christianity, became an abolitionist, Anglican cleric and hymn writer. The musical focuses on Newton's conversion and subsequent dedication to ending slavery, a journey of self discovery which would inspire him to pen one of the greatest songs of that age, or any other.
We begin in the 1740s, with the impetuous John arriving home from university, with no higher purpose on his mind than to drink and be merry. His slave trading father is not too sympathetic to this ambition and summarily forces his son into the navy. It's when his ship is attacked by the French, and John is saved by his slave Thomas, that his extraordinary journey truly begins.
Previews from: 25 June 2015
Opening night: 16 July 2015
Suitable for ages 10 and above
Two hours and 55 minutes with one intermission
Images are taken from the Chicago production
Harriett D. Foy
Elizabeth Ward Land
Michael Dean Morgan
Evan Alexander Smith
Charles E. Wallace
Toni Elizabeth White
Hollie E. Wright
Music and lyrics by Christopher Smith
Book by Smith and Arthur Giron
Directed by Gabriel Barre
Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli
Musical Direction by Joseph Church
Scenic Design by Eugene Lee & Edward Pierce
Costume Design by Toni-Leslie James
Lighting Design by Ken Billington & Paul Miller
Sound Design by Jon Weston
MOVING Engrossing unforgettable
Chuck Cooper will send shivers down your spine and reduce you to tears
Amazing Grace is an original musical based on the real life story of John Newton, the man behind the song that has been sung for centuries. Britain rules the world and it is an exciting time of travel, trade and triumph over lands far and wide.Read full review
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