Amazing Grace– The Story of John Newton

While I was in NY last month, I was able to take time on a Friday night to see the musical entitled Amazing Grace. Unlike the film (and book) of the same name, this production focuses not on William Wilberforce but rather on the life story of John Newton, including the story of his romance and finally his marriage to his childhood sweetheart. Along the way, you get the tale of his being involved in the slave trade, being shipwrecked and captured, and then rescued by his father the slaver trader, and finally of his conversion due to the influence of his sweetheart, a devout Christian and abolitionist. Here are some of the images from the posters of the play which was done at the beautiful old Nederlander theatre. ag Right across from the theatre you can see the famous Times Square ball that drops on New Year’s Eve. aga

The cast was quite good, starring Josh Young as the young John Newton…ag1ag2ag3ag4ag5

Unfortunately, no pictures or recordings were allowed during the play, but there was this warning in the hall outside the theatre proper…..

The music was quite good, but not of Les Mis, or Phantom quality, but the singing was excellent, especially the duets between Newton and his girl. The pathos was generated by the relationship between Newton and the slave who had helped raise him, Thomas, and raise his consciousness in the end. The play apparently first appeared in Chicago and then migrated to off Broadway in NY, where it’s had a good run, but is closing October 25th, which is to say, tomorrow. This is the kind of family friendly show however that would do well on the road in the ‘provinces’ for example in Lexington Ky.

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