Saturday, July 4, 2015

Theatre: The cast of ‘Amazing Grace’ grapples with slavery

By Michael Paulson
A slave auction in “Amazing Grace.” Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
NEW YORK---“Amazing Grace,” which is in previews for a July 16 opening at the Nederlander Theater, is a sweeping historical musical, set in England, Africa and the Caribbean, about John Newton, a British slave trader born in the 18th century who, after briefly being enslaved himself in Africa, had a religious conversion, became an abolitionist and wrote the words for the hymn from which the show takes its name. The producers are aggressively marketing to church groups and African-Americans — two groups who do not make up a large segment of current Broadway ticket-buyers — hoping that the musical’s story of redemption through faith and its connection to African-American history will be a draw. [link]