Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Theatre Review: ‘Amazing Grace,’ the story of a slave trader’s moral awakening

By Charles Isherwood
Amazing Grace A slave auction from this new musical about the human trafficker turned hymn writer John Newton. It opened Thursday at the Nederlander Theater. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
NEW YORK---The timing is fortunate for “Amazing Grace,” a Broadway musical about the unusual life story of the man who wrote the lyrics for that classic hymn. “Amazing Grace,” thick with such moralizing, naturally concludes on a note of uplift, or rather many notes of uplift: a choral singing of the title song. And while the musical certainly gives animated (overanimated?) dramatic form to the history of its author, I’m not sure this knowledge really enhances our enjoyment of the hymn. The song is simple, beautiful, immortal; the musical, not so much. [link]