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February 15, 2012

'Amazing Grace' Musical Eyes Broadway

A musical stage play of John Newton's story is picked up by a Tony-winning company

Amazing Grace, a new musical based on the life of John Newton, has been picked up by Goodspeed Musicals, sort of a Broadway "training ground" in Connecticut. The show will run May 17-June 10 at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.

Nineteen Goodspeed productions have transferred to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony Awards. The company is billing Amazing Grace like this: "Storms. Slavery. Romance. Redemption. Prepare to be swept away by this epic musical saga about John Newton, a rebellious slave trader, and the woman who never lost faith in him. While fighting the raging seas and his own despair, Newton's life is suddenly transformed -- igniting a quest to end the scourge of slavery. Based on a true story of the man who penned the world's most recognizable song, it's a powerful musical you will never forget."

Christopher Smith, who came up with the concept and wrote the music and lyrics for the production, says, "We have a chance to impact the culture in a very relevant and positive way, and the Broadway establishment has definitely taken notice of our piece. We have raised over $3 million from business people and individuals who want to see this story on Broadway."

Smith, who has no musical training and is entirely self-taught, was a church youth director and police officer when he came up with the idea of a musical about Newton. He says the process "has been quite a journey with surprising turns of fate, setbacks and victories."


Goodspeed Musicals are doing a great job. Nice tribute to John Newton. Will be waiting for the telecast of the show.