Perhaps the most famous hymn of all time, “Amazing Grace” is now on Broadway in a show that tells the story behind it.
Carolyn Rossi Copeland stated “We’re hoping people are willing to … buy a ticket, because it's great theater and it speaks to their heart and it speaks to their soul.”
The musical tells the story of John Newton who penned “Amazing Grace.” Newton was a former slave-trader who later repented of being involved in the trade and became an abolitionist, evangelist, and pillar of the Christian faith.
An official description of the performance, according to The Blaze, reads: John Newton … a willful and musically talented young Englishman, 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 father — a slave trader — and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart.”
Not often do stories of faith get onto Broadway, and not often do they open with such perfect timing.
Copeland describes how God orchestrated the opening of the performance:
“We were waiting for a theater December, January, February, March, April — then we finally get the theater at the end of April and we’re in previews the week that this horror happens in our country,” she said, referring to the tragic June shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. “And the president sings ‘Amazing Grace’ and all of the sudden we have requests to do national television.
“I don’t want to piggy back off of somebody’s horror,” Copeland continued, “but the timing was unbelievably providential that we didn’t open in April or May or June.”
Copeland and the show's composer, Chris Smith, are hoping that many people will come out to see this story of faith and redemption.
Photo courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org
Publication date: August 18, 2015