Robby Benson, Josh Young and More to Lead AMAZING GRACE Readings
Broadway and film star Robby Benson and Tony nominee Josh Young are set to star in the upcoming special invitational presentation of selections from the original new musical AMAZING GRACE, with music & lyrics by Christopher Smith and book by Mr. Smith & Arthur Giron, December 11th and 12th at Lincoln Center's Clark Studio Theater. AMAZING GRACE has been in development over the past four years and the musical had a record-breaking run at Goodpeed's Norma Terris Theatre last summer. Under the direction of Gabriel Barre, the cast will also feature Whitney Bashor (The Fantasticks, Happy Days), Chris Hoch (Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot), Quentin Earl Darrington (Ragtime, Memphis), and Harriett D. Foy (Mamma Mia!, Once on This Island).
AMAZING GRACE is an epic musical love story based on the life and trials of John Newton, the former slave-trader who authored one of the world's most recognized songs. The story is told from the point of view of his childhood friend Mary Catlett, the woman who never lost faith in him and whose love, courage and unshakable conviction helped to transform his life. Their journey to find the meaning of their own existence will lead them to love, heartbreak and an epic quest to end the scourge of slavery. AMAZING GRACE encompasses everything from triumphant anthems to heart-rending ballads all set within a love story which transcends time and distance.
Robby Benson appeared in the Broadway musical hits The Pirates of Penzance and The Rothschilds, and his numerous film and TV credits include Disney's Beauty and the Beast (as the Beast), "Seinfeld," "Our Town," "Death Be Not Proud," The Chosen, "The Death of Richie," "Two of a Kind," Jeremy, "Precious Victims," Running Brave, Just a Dream, One on One, Tribute, Ice Castles, and Ode to Billy Joe.
Josh Young was nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for his powerhouse performance as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar. At the Stratford Festival, Josh had starring roles in Evita, Kiss Me Kate and The Grapes of Wrath, and his solo recording Still Dreaming of Paradise is available on iTunes and Amazon.
Also featured in the cast of AMAZING GRACE are Laiona Michelle, Jonathan Burke, Alison Cimmet, Merideth Kaye Clark, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis Jr., Rachael Ferrera, Rita Harvey, Allen Kendall, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Alex Krasser, Danny Rothman, Gavriel Savit, Dan Sharkey, Paul Michael Valley, Robin Walker, Charles E. Wallace, Elizabeth Ward Land, Toni Elizabeth White, and Christopher Wood. Music Supervisor for AMAZING GRACE is Kimberly Grigsby.