Amazing Grace, the Broadway musical of 2015 that tells the inspiring tale of one of the world’s most-beloved hymns and of the man behind its creation, is now set to begin a national tour that will commence at The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. Running from November 17, 2017 to January 8, 2018, the musical will be the museum’s inaugural presentation in their new 472-seat theatre before traveling the country over.
With Christopher Smith providing the score and collaborating with Arthur Giron on the book, Amazing Grace tells the story of “John Newton, a musically talented young Englishman, who faces a future as uncertain as the turning tide. 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 – or embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart. Accompanied by his slave, Thomas, John embarks on a perilous voyage on the high seas. When that journey finds John in his darkest hour, a transformative moment of self-reckoning inspires a blazing anthem of hope that will finally guide him home.”
Gabriel Barre, who directed the Broadway inception of Amazing Grace, will once-again be helm the musical as it prepares to tour. Christopher Gattelli will recreate his choreography from the Broadway production, while Keith Levenson will provide music direction.
The Amazing Grace national tour will include Michael Burrell as John Newton, Russell Rinker as Captain Newton, Isaiah Bailey as Thomas/Pakuteh, and Eleanor Todd as Mary Catlett. Monique Elinor Barnes, Kelli Blackwell, Wyn Delano, Shannan E. Johnson, Jennifer Lyons Pagnard, David Sanborn, Joshua Simon, David Socolar, James Tarrant, Kanysha Williams, Jordan Campbell, Colleen Clancy, Nicki Elledge, Dion Montéz Jarrett, Da’Von Moody, Briana Gibson Reeves, Morgan Scott, and Andrew Tarquinio will round-out the ensemble.
Kenny Seymour will provide orchestrations, Edward Pierce and Eugene Lee will create the set design for the tour, and Toni-Leslie James will provide costume design. Sound design will be the work of Shannon Slaton (sound design), Ken Billington will orchestrate the lighting design. David Leong will stage fight and movement and Robert- Charles Vallance will provide wig design.
For more information on tour dates and locations, visit www.amazinggracemusical.com.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
Photo by Joan Marcus.