Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. And how sweet it was, the musical based on the beloved song that we all know and love is coming to a close. The news is bittersweet, as it was the first musical to open this Broadway season and will be the first to close. After having played 24 previews and 114 regular performances, Amazing Grace is closing October 25.
The show, which follows John Netwon’s journey that gave birth to the abolitionist movement, cost a whooping $16 million to get off the ground. It was marketed to church groups and African-American audiences with the goal that the inspirational story of John Newton’s religious conversion, and the realistic description of the slave trade, would interest these ticket buyers. However, that strategy did not work out in their favor. Quite the opposite, during the many weeks the show was running, the theatre was only half full.
Amazing Grace played a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago in fall 2014 and a national tour of the production is in the works. “We are incredibly disappointed in the show’s performance at the box office on Broadway,” lead producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland told the New York Times on Wednesday. “I look forward to bringing this story of hope and redemption to audiences around the country with our upcoming national tour.”
There are a lot of things that could have factored into the the early closing. The target audience they were going for might have felt a bit uncomfortable watching, they simply couldn’t afford to go, or they just weren’t interested. I remember seeing the show opening night and being extremely captivated by it. I also had theatre friends who told me they flat out thought it was a show to appease white guilt and, therefore, were uninterested. Either way, it’s disappointing to see a show with a majority of people of color have to bow out early, when some of the same old shows get to stay. But this is life, and things don’t always work out the way we want.
What I’m most sad about is not seeing Chuck Cooper, Harriett D. Foy, Laiona Michelle, and Rachael Ferrera give their all on stage, but we at Broadway Black know it’s only a matter of time before they wow audiences again.
Because it’s just so hard hard to say goodbye, check out some of these exclusive pics of some of the cast enjoying their success, while remaining humble in the process.
In July cast members Harriet D. Foy and Laiona Michelle were invited to the United Nations for a meet and greet with Ambassador Vandi Chidi Minah of Sierra Leone. This made perfect sense as both ladies portray women from that country. While there, both Foy and Michelle had a moment of self reflection and gratitude.
When visiting the newly built sculptures dedicated to those who were victims of slavery, Michelle noted the following;
Standing in this beautifully moving piece Harriett and I were overcome with a deep sense of pain, understanding and profound sorrow. It was quite humbling. Harriet could not touch the sculpture of what seemed to be a child in the hull of the ship where hundreds would be crammed together for the voyage to some unknown place to face untold horrors. This is my ancestry and I had to pay homage because I truly stand on the shoulders of giants. We tend to take for granted the enormous grace, strength and beauty of which we are built. I was reminded in one instance, of that legacy.
And we will sure enough miss the beauty of Amazing Grace. If you haven’t made your way to the Nederlander Theatre, buy your tickets now and experience Amazing Grace for yourself before October 25th!
Take a look back on #OpeningNight with our video below!
It’s A Snoopsical! Snoop Dogg Joined by Tamar Braxton for Redemption of A Dogg Musical Stageplay
Yes, You read that right. Snoop Dogg will make his theatrical debut in a new stage play titled Redemption of a Dogg also starring R&B superstar Tamar Braxton. Teaming up with the same producer who brought us Set It Off Live!, Je’Caryous Johnson, the play will begin touring in October starting in Houston, TX.
The stage play is said to ‘examine the internal battle one man has between preserving his life-long legacy and losing the love of his life when he is faced with choosing fame and fortune over faith and family.”
“Redemption of a Dogg is set against a backdrop of Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits, as well as, songs from his recently released chart-topping Gospel album, Bible Of Love.” according to the press release.
“Please believe you’ve never seen urban theatre like this! With my flavor and his (Je’Caryous Johnson) expertise, we’re gonna bring the people an unmissable show. I can’t wait for everyone out there to see it!” — Snoop Dogg
FALL 2018 REDEMPTION OF A DOGG TOUR DATES:
October 5-7 Houston, TX Hobby Center
October 11 Newark, NJ NJPAC
October 12-13 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theater
October 14 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
October 19 St. Louis, MO Stifel Theatre
October 20-21 Chicago, IL Arie Crown
October 25-27 Detroit, MI Music Hall
October 28 Cleveland, OH KeyBank State Theatre
November 2 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
November 8 Norfolk, VA Chrysler Hall
November 9-11 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
November 16 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theater
November 17 Long Beach, CA Terrace Theater
November 18 Oakland, CA Paramount Theatre
*Dates Subject to Change Without Notice and More Cities To Be Added
For more info go to www.jecaryous.com
Tony! Toni! Toné! Awards 2018 Presenters and Performances
It’s time Y’all, for the 2018 Tony Awards. This Sunday. Go to church. Grab a plate from your grandma or play-cousins house and get comfy!
Some of the performances we are looking ready for include the wig snatch that is Caissie Levy! Bruce Springsteen, who is also going to rock the stage! EVERYTHING that is Once On This Island! While we too are secretly hoping for that Yolanda Adams bop from Spongebob The Musical to be performed, we know whatever Tina Landau and her aquatic squad bring to the Radio City Stage is sure to help us get through the inevitable Tony recovery week that looms head on Monday.
New musicals nominated include: “The Bands Visit,” “Mean Girls,” “Frozen,” and “Spongebob Squarepants The Musical,” each nominated for Best New Musical. Adding to that list, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” which brings along two performance nominations.
This season of musical revivals includes “Carousel”, “Once On This Island”, and “My Fair Lady”.
Plays nominated this season, new and revived, include: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, “The Children”, “Farinelli And The King”, “Junk”, “Latin History for Morons, Angels In America”, “Three Tall Women”, “The Iceman Cometh”, “Lobby Hero”, “Travesties”, and Saint Joan’s Condola Rashad.
Some of the presenters include Bernadette Peters, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kerry Washington, Titus Burgess, and Viola Davis (not really. But if we say her name in the mirror three times, she’ll appear right?)
Who else is set to appear? Glad you asked. You’ll see the familiar faces of Uzo Aduba, Leslie Odom Jr., James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, and more!
So tune in to CBS June 10th, Sunday at 8 pm eastern time to catch all the fantastic performances and see who gets to turn from Tony Award Nominee to Tony Award winner!
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