New Musical AMAZING GRACE Opens at Goodspeed Tonight, 5/17

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Goodspeed Musicals takes to the high seas with the new musical Amazing Grace. This tale about a slave trader who sees the light and dedicates himself to ending slavery will run from tonight, May 17 through June 10, 2012 at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., Goodspeed's home for developing new works.

"Storms. Slavery. Romance. Redemption. Prepare to be swept away by this epic musical saga about John Newton, a rebellious slave trader, and the woman who never lost faith in him. While fighting the raging seas and his own despair, Newton's life is suddenly transformed - igniting a quest to end the scourge of slavery. Based on a true story of the man who penned the world's most recognizable song, it's a powerful musical you will never forget."

Amazing Grace features music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and book by Arthur Giron and Christopher Smith.

Goodspeed Musicals, the first two-time Tony Award winning theatre in the country, previously announced that the cast of Amazing Grace would be led by Chris Peluso who plays John Newton. Peluso appeared in Broadway's Mamma Mia!, Lestat, and Assassins. Whitney Bashor plays Mary Catlett. Laiona Michelle plays Nanna/Ayotunde. Mike Evariste plays Thomas/Keita. Captain Newton is played by Dennis Parlato of Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Sound of Music, Chess, and A Chorus Line as well as Mrs. McThing at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre. Major Gray is played by Chris Hoch of Broadway's La Cage aux Folles; Shrek The Musical; Spamalot; Dracula, the Musical; and Beauty and the Beast. Hoch also appeared in Goodspeed's Caraboo, Princess of Javasu at The Norma Terris Theatre. Harriet D. Foy plays The Princess. Ms. Foy appeared in Broadway's The American Plan, Mamma Mia!, and Once on This Island as well as in Goodspeed's Good Sports at The Norma Terris Theatre.

The ensemble includes Jonathan BurkeMerideth Kaye ClarkRheaume CrenshawAndrew Crowe, Tyrone Davis Jr.,Rachael FerreraLiam FordeLogan Rose Nelms, Adbur Rahim Jackson, Olivia Bowman Jackson, Allen KendallAlex Krasser,Kate Marilley (Goodspeed's Half a Sixpence and L'il Abner), Danny Rothman (Goodspeed's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), Gavriel Savit, Victoria Thornsbury, Paul Michael Valley (Broadway's 1776), Charles E. WallaceToni Elizabeth White, and Noah Zachary.



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