Tony nominee Josh Young will star in the world premiere of Amazing Grace at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre this fall.
Tony nominee Josh Young will star in the world premiere of Amazing Grace, directed by Gabriel Barre, at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre this fall.
(© David Gordon)

Broadway in Chicago has announced the world premiere of Amazing Grace, a new musical based on the true story behind the world-famous Christian hymn. The production will run from October 9-November 2 at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.

Amazing Grace will star Tony nominee Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar) in the role of John Newton, a musically talented young Englishman coming of age at a time when Britain sat atop an international empire of slavery. The musical follows Newton through a perilous high-seas voyage that brings him to a transformative moment of self-reckoning. Gabriel Barre (The Wild Party) will direct the production, which features a score by Christopher Smith and a book by Smith and Arthur Giron. Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) also joins the creative team.

"'Amazing Grace' is the world's most beloved song, yet so few know the story behind it or John Newton, the man who penned it," said producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland in a statement. "This adventure and love story captured my imagination and I am privileged to bring it to Chicago audiences."

"We are so thrilled to see that audiences in Chicago will experience Amazing Grace," added Michael Price, executive director of East Haddam, Connecticut's Goodspeed Musicals, where a developmental workshop of the musical was presented in the spring of 2012. "It's a musical that is near and dear to our hearts because it is so beautiful and powerful."