With producers lined up three deep for any available Broadway house, no show closing leaves a theater empty for long. The departure of Honeymoon In Vegas from the Nederlander Theatre opens the way for Amazing Grace, a new musical about the story behind the hymn, with performances beginning June 25 and an official opening on July 16.
The show, which was well received in Chicago last year, features music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and a book by Smith and Arthur Giron. It’s directed by Gabriel Barre (Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party) and choreographed by Tony winner Christopher Gattelli.
Amazing Grace follows one man whose personal journey helped give birth to the abolitionist movement. John Newton (Josh Young, a Tony nominee for Jesus Christ Superstar), a willful and musically talented young Englishman, faces an uncertain future. Coming of age as Britain sits atop an international empire of slavery, he finds himself torn between following in the footsteps of his father, a slave trader, and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart (Erin Mackey).
The cast will include Tony winner Chuck Cooper (Act One, The Life), Chris Hoch (Matilda, Far From Heaven), Stanley Bahorek (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Big River) and Harriett D. Foy (Mamma Mia!).
The creative team includes Eugene Lee and Edward Pierce (scenic design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Ken Billington and Paul Miller (lighting design), Jon Weston (sound design), and Joseph Church (music director, arranger, incidental music).
Amazing Grace is produced by Carolyn Rossi Copeland and Alexander Rankin.