Broadway In Chicago Announces Additional Casting for World Premiere of AMAZING GRACE
Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce additional principal casting for the world premiere of AMAZING GRACE, the new musical with music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and a book by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron, directed by Gabriel Barre (Andrew Lippas’ The Wild Party) and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies).
Joining previously announced Tony Award nominee® Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar) will be Erin Mackey (NY Philharmonic’s concert production of Sweeney Todd, Chaplin), Tony Award nominee® Tom Hewitt (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show), Tony Award winner® Chuck Cooper (Act One, The Life), Chris Hoch (Matilda, Far From Heaven), Stanley Bahorek (Nerds, Honeymoon in Vegas), Harriett D. Foy (Mamma Mia!), and Laiona Michelle(The Book of Mormon national tour).
AMAZING GRACE begins performances at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre (18 W Monroe) on Thursday, October 9 and opens on Sunday, October 19. The run is currently scheduled through Sunday, November 2.
AMAZING GRACE is a world premiere musical based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. A captivating tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, this radiant production follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change.
John Newton (Josh Young), 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 his father – a slave trader – and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart. But when a perilous voyage on the high seas finds John in his darkest hour, a transformative moment of self-reckoning inspires a blazing anthem of hope that will finally guide him home.
Brimming with emotion and adventure, AMAZING GRACE is an unforgettable musical saga that captures the spirit of history’s sweetest and most powerful sound: freedom.
AMAZING GRACE is produced by Carolyn Rossi Copeland and presented by Broadway In Chicago.
AMAZING GRACE will be part of the next Broadway In Chicago Season. Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Individual tickets for AMAZING GRACE will go on sale at a later date. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
JOSH YOUNG (John Newton) Josh originated and currently stars in the role of “Che” in the first national tour of the Tony® Nominated Broadway revival of Evita. He received a 2012 Tony® Award nomination and Theatre World Award for his critically acclaimed Broadway debut as “Judas” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Des McAnuff. He appeared in two seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival where his credits include: “Judas” inJesus Christ Superstar, “Connie Rivers” in Grapes of Wrath, and “Che” in Evita directed by Gary Griffin, earning Broadway World Awards for each. Josh also appeared as “Marius” in the US National Tour of Les Miserables and “Tony” in the International Tour of West Side Story. Josh has performed in North America’s finest regional theaters including La Jolla Playhouse, Walnut Street Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Baltimore Center Stage and North Carolina Theatre. He’s been involved in new works with NYC’s Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group and The New York Musical Theater Festival. Josh is the co-founder of Cutting-Edge Composers (cuttingedgecomposers.com), a concert and weekly web series on broadwayworld.com, created to give exposure to musical theatre’s next generation of songwriters. BFA Syracuse University. Tweet @joshpaulyoung.
ERIN MACKEY (Mary Catlett) was last seen on Broadway in Chaplin: The Musical as Oona O’Neill. Other Broadway credits include Anything Goes (Hope), Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked (Glinda). She recently appeared at Lincoln Center in the NY Philharmonic’s concert production of Sweeney Todd as Johanna, which will be broadcast on PBS later in 2014, and as Nellie Forbush in Paper Mill’s South Pacific. Her regional and Off-Broadway credits include Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s production of Phantom (Christine), The Light in the Piazza (Clara) at South Coast Repertory and I Remember Mama (Katrin) at the York Theatre. Film and TV: Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl, Family Affair, Do Over and The Parent Trap. She has had the pleasure of performing with the Long Beach Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Pops and Florida Orchestra and can be heard on the original cast albums of Chaplin and Sondheim on Sondheim.
TOM HEWITT (Captain Newtown). Broadway: Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Dracula in Dracula: The Musical, Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), The Boys from Syracuse, Scar in The Lion King, School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosenzweig. National Tours: Urinetown, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Touring Broadway Award), Peter Pan. Off Broadway: Treasure Island, Jeffery, Beau Jest (Outer Critics nomination), Richard III, Othello. Recent Regional Credits: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Reprise!, Muny), Flea in Her Ear (Williamstown), Private Lives and Travesties (Long Wharf, CT Critics Circle Award), Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Old Globe), Zhivago and Dracula: The Musical (LaJolla Playhouse), Uncle Vanya (Arena Stage), Racing Demon and Blithe Spirit (Guthrie), Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare Theater). Performances throughout Japan, Europe, and the U.S. with the Suzuki Company of Toga. TV and Film: “Law and Order,” “Third Watch,”
“Frasier,” “All My Children,” narration for The Discovery, History and National Geographic channels and Julie Taymors’Fools’ Fire. Training: PTTP currently at U. of Delaware. Tom is a native of Montana.
CHUCK COOPER (Thomas). Tony Award: Best Featured Actor for The Life. Other Broadway: Originated “Bus/Dryer” inCaroline Or Change, Act One, Finian’s Rainbow, Lennon, Chicago, Passion, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Rumors, Amen Corner and Getting Away With Murder. National tour: The Tap Dance Kid, Eubie and Whistle Down The Wind. Off-Broadway: Caroline Or Change, Avenue X, Police Boys and Colored People’s Time. Regional: Premiere of Dance Of The Holy Ghosts, Othello, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and The Tempest. TV: “House of Cards,” “Without a Trace,” “Hack,” “Law & Order,” “100 Centre Street,” “Law & Order SVU,” “Paul Reiser TV Project,” “Third Watch,” “Oz,” “Strangers with Candy,” “NYPD Blue,” “The Cosby Mysteries,” “New York Undercover” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Film:American Gangster, Find Me Guilty, Boy Wonder, Downtown, Requiem For A Dream, Our Song, The Hurricane, The Opportunists, Gloria, The Peacemaker and The Juror. Favorite role: Eddie, Alex and Lilli’s father.www.chuckcooper.net
CHRIS HOCH (Major Archibald Gray). Broadway: Matilda, La Cage aux Follies, Shrek, Spamalot, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast. National Tours: Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast. Off-Broadway: Far From Heaven, Die, Mommie, Die!, Face the Music (Encores!). Regional: Dracula, Zhivago, Palm Beach, Private Fittings (all La Jolla Playhouse); Far From Heaven (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Amazing Grace (Goodspeed); Next To Normal (Hangar Theatre);Spamalot (Muny); Kiss Me, Kate (Barrington Stage); Picasso at the Lapin Agile (City Theatre). Television: “30 Rock,” “Guiding Light,” “All My Children,” “The Good Wife,” “Gossip Girl.” BFA: Carnegie-Mellon University
STANLEY BAHOREK (Robert Haweis). Broadway and Off-Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, February House (The Public), Queen Of The Mist (Transport Group), See Rock City (Transport Group), Inventing Avi(Abingdon Theatre), and The Explorers Club (Manhattan Theatre Club). Most recently he played Bill Gates in the new musical Nerds and appeared in the world premiere of Honeymoon In Vegas. Regionally he played Mozart in Amadeus(The Alley Theatre), Candide in Candide (The 5th Avenue), and has performed at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Syracuse Stage, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Paper Mill Playhouse. He played Tom Sawyer in the national tour of DeafWest’s Big River. A founding teaching artist with Broadway in South Africa, he currently teaches classes to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students for the Theatre Development Fund. He made his directing debut this year with the new play Act Normal (Senses Askew Company), and is a graduate of The University of Michigan.www.stanleybahorek.com
HARRIETT D. FOY (Princess Peyai). Broadway: Mamma Mia, The American Plan, Once on This Island. Off-Broadway:The Total Bent, On the Levee (AUDELCO nomination) and Crowns (AUDELCO Award). Regional: LMNOP and Amazing Grace (Goodspeed Chester); F2M (NYS &F Powerhouse Theater); The Women of Brewster Place and Polk County(Arena Stage, Helen Hayes nominations for both plays); After the War (ACT); Seven Guitars (Center Stage) andAmbassador Satch in Dubai. Film: Winter’s Tale, In the Family. Television: “Hostages,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order” and “Rescue Me.” Training: Howard University. WGATAP! harriettdfoy.com
LAIONA MICHELLE (Nanna). Recipient of a NAACP award. Nominated Best Lead Actress by the Helen Hayes 2005 Awards for Yellowman (Arena Stage). Nat’l Tour: Book of Mormon. World Premieres: Dan Dietz’s Clementine in the Lower 9 and Robert O’Hara’s Booty Candy. Additional Theatre: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Goodspeed Opera House. TV and Film: “Law and Order” and “All My Children.”
CHRISTOPHER SMITH (Book, Music, and Lyrics) wrote his first musical at the age of 17. That musical was performed at the University of Delaware when Chris was a senior in high school. Chris had left theatre behind to work as a police officer and Youth Outreach and Education Director in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania when the idea of Amazing Grace fell into his lap. A chance stroll through the church school library led him to pick up a book about a person he hardly knew: John Newton. Chris became convinced that his was a story that could bridge the gap between ordinary experience and deep struggles of the soul.
ARTHUR GIRON (Book)’s plays include Edith Stein, Boy Dies Dancing Mambo, Money, Innocent Pleasures, Dirty Jokes, Becoming Memories, Flight, A Dream of Wealth, Moving Bodies, The Golden Guitar, Memories of Our Women, The Coffee Trees, Emilie’s Voltaire, and St. Francis in Egypt, in addition to many one-acts. Among Arthur’s recent New York productions are The Coffee Trees (Beckett Theatre) and Emilie’s Voltaire (Beckett Theatre). His prizes include the Los Angeles Critics’ Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Writing (Twice) and the Galileo Prize. In addition, he has been awarded three commissions from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as well as commissions from the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the New York Shakespeare Festival. He is the former Head of the Graduate Playwriting program at Carnegie-Mellon University and a Founding Member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, currently in its 37th year, a theatre company in which he remains active and is dedicated to the production of new plays.
GABRIEL BARRE (Director) is an internationally acclaimed director having just returned from Seoul, Korea where he directed the world premiere of the Frank Wildhorn musical, Tears of Heaven. In Prague, Czech Republic, he directed another original musical, Carmen, now in its third sold out year, as well as a hit revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. His credits in the United States include the New York productions of The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa (nominated for 13 Drama Desk Awards and 5 Outer Critics Circle awards, both including Best Director and for which he won the Calloway Award), Summer of ‘42, Stars in Your Eyes, Honky-Tonk Highway, john & jen and Almost, Maine. He directed the US and Canadian tour of Pippin, as well as the national tour of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Eartha Kitt. His regional theatre credits include Private Lives at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Tom Jones, Camelot and the world premiere productions of Memphis, at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston and at Theatreworks in California;Sweeney Todd, Finian’s Rainbow, Houdini and many other new musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House; Stand By Your Man at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; Hay Fever and Pericles at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey;Little Shop of Horrors and Flower Drum Song at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose; as well as Tommy, Hair andLove’s Labours Lost at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. As an actor, he has been nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical and appears often in film and on TV.
CHRISTOPHER GATTELLI (Choreographer). Currently: The Jungle Book (Goodman Theatre. Broadway: Newsies (Tony, Drama Desk, and OCC awards, future West End and US Tour), Godspell, South Pacific (Tony & OCC Noms) Women on the Verge…, Sunday In The Park With George, The Ritz, Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me, 13, High Fidelity. Off-Broadway: Dogfight (Lortel Award), Altar Boyz (Lortel & Callaway Awards, Drama Desk Nom., LADCC Award-Best Choreography 2013); Bat Boy (Lortel Award); 10 Million Miles, Adrift in Macao, tick,tick..BOOM!, I Love You Because.West End: South Pacific; Sunday In The Park; tick, tick…BOOM!. Regional: Newsies (Paper Mill Playhouse), Kander and Ebb’s All About Us (Westport Playhouse), The Baker’s Wife w/ Alice Ripley (Paper Mill Playhouse), Me And My Girl (Goodspeed Opera House), the world premiere of Tom Jones (North Shore Music Theater), O. Henry’s Lovers(Goodspeed-at-Chester). Director/Choreographer: SILENCE! The Musical (Best Off-Broadway Musical OBA), the world premiere of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas (also co-writer), Radio Girl, Chance and Chemistry, How To Save The World…, Departure Lounge. Concerts: Hair w/Jennifer Hudson, Chess w/Josh Groban. TV: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” Upcoming, Director/Choreographer: Top Hat, In Your Arms, The Untitled Babyface Project, In Transit, Pump Up The Volume, Viva Mixtia.
CAROLYN ROSSI COPELAND (Executive Producer). Most recently Carolyn was lead producer for Freud’s Last Sessionwhich has had an unprecedented run Off Broadway and won Best Play for the 2010-2011 Off Broadway Season. Carolyn also produced Freud’s Last Session in Chicago for 8 months at The Mercury Theatre starring Mike Nussbaum.Freud’s Last Session continues to be performed in major markets in the United States as well as Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Spain and Argentina, Japan, Australia, Hungry, Singapore and Hong Kong. Carolyn is a graduate of Tulane University where she majored in Political Science. Upon graduation she worked for The Honorable Peter W. Rodino, Jr as a Congressional Aide. She left the theatrics of Capitol Hill for a life in the theatre. She has been producing theatre since 1979 when she founded The Lamb’s Theatre Company in the heart of Times Square. As Producing Director she led The Lamb’s into an award winning and financially successful enterprise. She was dedicated to producing new American Musical and Plays musicals and gave birth to such shows as Smoke on the Mountain,Gifts of the Magi, the revival of GODSPELL, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, John and Jen, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Roads to Home written and directed by Horton Foote. The Lambs Theatre was the home of the PBS radio show “Prairie Home Companion” starring Garrison Keillor. Carolyn oversaw a complete renovation of the theatre and the creation of a second space known as The Lamb’s Little Theatre (www.lambstheatre.org for list of all productions). In 1998 Carolyn was sought out by Madison Square Garden/Radio City Entertainment to oversee the historic remount of The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway and following its success she became the Vice President for Creative Affairs for Radio City Entertainment (RCE). At RCE she oversaw The Christmas Carol at the world famous Madison Square Garden Theatre, The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and developed new performance opportunities for the world famous Rockettes. She opened her own production company which has served as a producer for The Gaylord Group at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and currently is the Executive Producer for Strouse IP, the company that controls and manages the works of the great American composer Charles Strouse. She is married to Architect James Masson Copeland and together they are the proud parents of Margaret, Beatrice and twins Marion and Eugenia. www.crcproductions.org