Josh Young to star in Amazing Grace musical

The musical about "Amazing Grace" songwriter John Newton will premiere at the Bank of America Theatre this fall

Josh Young

Josh Young Photograph: Peter Hurley

Tony nominee Josh Young is set to star in a new musical about John Newton, the Anglican cleric and reformed slave trader who wrote the song "Amazing Grace," premiering this fall at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre, Broadway in Chicago said this morning.

Amazing Grace has a story and score by a total newcomer named Christopher Smith, with playwright Arthur Giron as co-author of the book. Smith "is entirely self-taught and apart from his close work with Arthur Giron has no training in writing for the theatre," according to his bio on the show's web site.

But they've made a believer of producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland (Freud's Last Session), who reportedly attended a 2007 reading that Smith self-produced. She's signed on director Gabriel Barre (Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party), Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, The Jungle Book at the Goodman) and Young, who earned a Tony nomination as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and is currently playing Che in the national touring company of Evita. Amazing Grace will play the Bank of America Theatre October 9–November 2.

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