New York | 2h 25m | Already closed

Amazing Grace

From 68 critic and 190 member reviews
Members say: Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

About the show

A musical of romance, rebellion, and redemption, based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world's most beloved song. More…

John Newton, 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.

2h 25m | Already closed | Nederlander Theatre (Midtown W)

Glenn Beck

"This show has the power of the spirit without EVER preaching. It shows slavery for what is was but it also shows the evil black princess who was also part of the evil as she sold her own people in to slavery. None of it felt PC, nor did it feel forced or worse yet like it was trying to teach a lesson. If you are anywhere near New York you must see this show. It is worth the drive, the airfare or whatever it takes to get there. 'Amazing Grace' isn’t just amazing, it’s a miracle." Full Review

Rye The News Guy

"A captivating tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, this radiant production follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change...Brimming with emotion and adventure, 'Amazing Grace' is an unforgettable musical saga. This show was categorically stunning, thrilling, inspiring, and breathtakingly beautiful. " Full Review

Breathe Cast

"'Amazing Grace' on Broadway is an unforgettable experience that will wow the critics, captivate the crowd, and inspire people to pursue love and freedom despite racial tensions in the country...Overall 'Amazing Grace' on Broadway is a show that we would gladly recommend to anyone...The acting allows the audience to go on this journey with Newton and it is a show with a rare voice not usually heard on Broadway." Full Review


"Far from light-hearted but deeply felt and spiritedly envisioned, 'Amazing Grace' is another stirring historical period musical adventure...It remains to be seen whether his lilting arias and stirring anthems and the the impressive text will ultimately validate him as a major musical find. What I do know is that Smith and his production associates have given us an amazing show with an abundance of grit and grace." Full Review

Reflections in the Light

"I found it to be engrossing, inspiring and bursting with excellent performances and heavenly staging... It’s very moving...The score is adequate, but lacks the swell of big Broadway." Full Review

Peconic Public Broadcasting

"For the most part the numbers are really quite good and way better than some of the music and lyrics that inhabited shows this past season...Amazing no…but enjoyable? Certainly yes!" Full Review


"The authors load up on the atrocious behavior to make Newton’s redemption that much more impressive. But when it finally happens, it comes much too quickly...The songs and book of 'Amazing Grace' are no more than serviceable, but the show does offer theatrical pleasures. It moves with good energy, and there are vivid scenic effects." Full Review

The Associated Press

"The refreshing new show 'Amazing Grace' admirably covers slavery, abolition, sedition and spiritual themes in 1740s England and Africa, complete with spirited acting and inspirational ballads and anthems...It's a long time coming, but the title song is performed in the beautiful and emotional finale. By then we've been on quite a journey with these characters, and the hymn resonates with relevance and hope, both for their personal stories and the still-uneasy state of racial relations today." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"'Amazing Grace' may have the noblest intentions of any major musical I've ever seen...The close of 'Amazing Grace' is every bit as stirring as you'd expect. It's everything the show needs to be, and enough that those in search of nothing more won't leave the theater feeling cheated. But this elevation does not come without a cost: Saving this song of all songs for the very end only emphasizes how thoroughly what precedes it fails to meet the composition's heaven-high standards." Full Review

Stu on Broadway

"Director Gabriel Barre is at his best guiding the many action sequences and incorporating the production’s special effects without overwhelming the show. Unfortunately, there are so many scene changes that achieving a consistent flow or developing an emotional core is difficult....a heartfelt effort not fully realized." Full Review

The Washington Post

"Broadway’s new play is bound to resonate—and provoke...The musical’s comforting message that redemption and absolution are possible for even the worst sinners, while no doubt an inspiration to some, may strike others as too simplistic...Newton’s conversion takes place abruptly during the play, with little apparent cost either to him or anyone else." Full Review


"There’s an audience out there for 'Amazing Grace,' flawed as it is. Christian congregations and other faith-based groups should respond to this epic-scaled saga of how John Newton, an 18th-century British slave trader played by Josh Young, experienced a 'miraculous' religious conversion, became an Anglican minister, and went on to write 200 church hymns, including the stirring title piece. But ye of little faith will find it tough sledding." Full Review

USA Today

"If 'Grace' has the courage of its convictions, it shows less daring, and little invention, as a creative work. Mostly generic, sometimes bombastic score and stilted dialogue...The standing ovation that followed surely included more skeptical folks who were, if not converted, moved by this flawed musical's open heart and chutzpah." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"Lest you think that 'Amazing Grace' is one long celebration of the soul-stirring song, theatergoer beware. You’ll have to wait to hear those two little words—almost two and a half hours. The good news: It’s worth it...If only the rest of 'Amazing Grace' had such force. While by no means unpleasant, Smith’s songs are lifeless and forgettable." Full Review

JK's Theatre Scene

"Unfortunately, the show is yet another one of those where you can see flashes of 'what could have been' coupled with a ton of playing it safe. The result is an alternately interesting, pleasant, and (mostly) boring production...The book is all over the map, hovering somewhere between a safe Disney live-action historical drama, a Hallmark Hall of Fame 'important' drama, and, rarely, a hard-hitting expose on one of history's darkest chapters." Full Review

New York Post

"Smith’s score seems to aim for “Les Miz”-like grandeur, but falls short, despite some agreeable tunes. But of course nothing comes close to the title song, which isn’t just the show’s payoff, but the reason it exists. However awkward or heavy-handed the proceedings are up till then, 'Amazing Grace' doesn’t fail to draw tears." Full Review

The Wrap

"The show postpones Barack Obama’s favorite tune to the finale, offering a long and dull history lesson with a score heavy on bombastic anthems. In Hollywood parlance, they call it “medicine”: a movie or TV show that’s good for you, that teaches you something, that hopefully leaves you inspired. 'Amazing Grace' is definitely medicine... But is 'Amazing Grace' inspirational and, more important, does it hold one’s interest?...In their final exchange, Mary asks Newton why “it took you so long” ... Full Review


"Can a man who has done cruel, hateful, casually sadistic acts for almost three quarters of a musical become a sympathetic hero by abruptly discovering his faith? Is it possible to excuse some of history's worst crimes against humanity by explaining that, well, the perpetrator was merely a brat rebelling against his father? So much effort, sincerity and talent - not to mention cash - have been funneled into 'Amazing Grace' that it would be nice to be able to answer yes to any of that. Alas, t... Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"The show is definitely blessed with a number of virtues that many will find sufficiently entertaining to keep them in their seats, including an important historical lesson , several big-chested songs, a remarkable underwater special effect, and, among other things, the beloved eponymous hymn...On the other hand, this tale is a fictionalized distortion of what actually happened, its narrative is awkward and clichéd, its characters broad stereotypes, and its wit almost an afterthought." Full Review


"A mildly enjoyable adventure enhanced greatly by sumptuous design and staging...The exciting score feels like window dressing on the skeletal remains of a much more robust story." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"It is an amazing story, but it is told on stage mostly in less than an amazing way. The new musical combines a coming-of-age tale, love story, slave narrative, costume drama, and Saturday morning adventure serial. It tries to do many things at once. For all that, we don’t actually learn much about the song... Much time, talent and money has gone into this well-meaning project to tell the story of John Newton. But it’s a musical hobbled by a misunderstanding of what makes good theater." Full Review


"The tone of scenes in the first act oscillates wildly, from striking and severe to overly smug and smirky. The songs are confident, if not quite memorable...In an epilogue, Young begins an a cappella version of the song. Within a minute, some audience members were standing with an evangelical hand raised to God. The moment is as lump-in-the-throat as it sounds. It seemed disconnected from the rest of the musical, and was the first time during 'Amazing Grace' my emotions were truly stirred." Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

"'Amazing Grace' is so formulaic that you could write some of the scenes in your head before they unfold. But its conceptual backbone warrants appreciation...The score built around the title song is so functional you wonder if composer Smith was holding back...The panorama of characters is well paced and well constructed but generally so risk free that even when characters start sacrificing their futures for their ideals, the consequences are minimal. " Full Review

The Huffington Post

"'Amazing Grace' earns a place right alongside 'Scandalous,' and 'Into the Light...' While there is indeed a lightning strike on the stage, it comes courtesy of the electrician...In speaking of faith-based musicals, it was often stated--and universally proven--that you don't have to be Jewish to love 'Fiddler on the Roof.' I don't expect the producers of 'Amazing Grace' will find a happy parallel." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"It’s not so much a musical as an antislavery pageant, with innocuous songs by Christopher Smith and a vertiginously high-minded book by Mr. Smith and Arthur Giron. ... Whatever its weaknesses, this is one of the best-looking musicals to reach New York in recent seasons...I can’t imagine that 'Amazing Grace' will last long on Broadway, but it’s a perfect fit for the drama departments of Christian high schools and colleges, where it will doubtless have a profitable afterlife." Full Review

Masterful, Great acting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You want to learn history through the Bible. Well done!

Don't see it if Don't like the Bible

Intelligent, Must see, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Having heard some negatives before I went I didn't know what to expect. I was blown away by it and am so sad that it is closing. GO SEE IT!

Don't see it if Nothing negative to say other than I got all choked up at the end when they sang Amazing Grace and my makeup ran because of my tears.

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if I found myself glued to every moment of this show. Loved learning the history of this famous song. See it to hear history in song.

Don't see it if If you don't like musicals.

Riveting, Profound, Must see, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if You love history

Don't see it if You don't like good music and a good story

Original, Must see, Masterful, Great writing, Enchanting

See it if you want to get your mind blown and find the true story behind the original song

Don't see it if you don't want to cry

Relevant, Great acting, Epic, Invigorating, Stunning

See it if You love new Broadway musicals in the classic style, top caliber Broadway talent, mind boggling special effects, an inspirational story

Don't see it if If the true and honest portrayal of slavery will make you uncomfortable, or being confronted with racial issues that still exist.

Refreshing, Relevant, Must see, Invigorating, Epic

See it if You care about humanity and enjoy incredible and powerful music, and high quality performances and production value.

Don't see it if You're a racist. Or if you only enjoy comedies.

Riveting, Resonant, Refreshing, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if You love big, epic, historical musicals with heart - and are looking for diversity in theatre.

Don't see it if You're looking for a laugh out loud comedy.

Relevant, Invigorating, Resonant, Family-friendly, Epic

See it if you like being inspired, educated, uplifted, visually-stunned, and brought to tears.

Don't see it if you like shorter musicals.

Resonant, Entertaining, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You are interested in music, history or compassion.

Don't see it if You want something light and funny.

Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great staging, Absorbing, Delightful

See it if you are a fan of great singing, and of the featured song

Don't see it if you like a more contemporary topic

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if this show is completely underrated. It has a stunning score and some of the very best voices on the broadway stage right now. Great story.

Don't see it if this show is poorly marketed. It's not the story of the song. It's a great story of slavery and redemption.

Original, Profound, Relevant, Must see, Exquisite

See it if You are into history, if you like to see people's motivation behind changes in their life. If you want to hear great singing

Don't see it if you don't want to shed a tear, and you can't deal with seeing slavery or imagining it

Heartbreaking, Thought-provoking, Original, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You like plays based on history, you can bear to watch humans treated as animals 5 feet in front of you(it was tough to watch), new musical.

Don't see it if You can't handle human torture, sad historic stories, you get mentally tormented by history

Thought-provoking, Intense, Original, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if You like history and great music

Don't see it if If you don't like to cry

Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you want to feel uncomfortable and moved at the same time. Amazing Christian experience.

Don't see it if you are an atheist and want to ruin the show for everyone else.

Epic, Great staging, Great acting, Great singing, Exquisite

See it if big LOUD musicals rock your world. There's a lot to be had here. Excellent cast, tough subject-matter masterfully staged, stunning ending.

Don't see it if anything to do with slavery and seeing it portrayed live will upset you. There are no short-cuts here, but it's tastefully portrayed. Epic.

Entertaining, Original, Thought-provoking, Surprisingly good, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in history/ like a underappreciated story/ and to be moved by a performance (especially the last number)

Don't see it if You don't like a serious drama musical about history

Romantic, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if IF U like British history (circa 18th C.) & a "clean" portrayal of Romance with a little Faith message in between U will really enjoy this!!

Don't see it if The Biblical references may offend atheists & die-hard agnostics, but most of the faith moments are very subtly played out in the text.

Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Epic, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate historical musicals with a great message

Don't see it if you don't appreciate a musical based on factual events

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Amazing staging and singing couldn't hold the audience. I enjoyed it however and the graphic slave scenes were illuminating. True story.

Don't see it if You are looking for a light hearted feel good play

Fun, Invigorating, Epic, Stunning, Great acting

See it if epic new american musicals with great performances and songs you will sing for weeks later are your thing

Don't see it if you don't like history and ideas of redemption make you uncomfortable

Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Like an interesting story and musicals

Don't see it if You don't want to hear about slavery

Moving musical about slavery bit old fashion and religious tone, Riveting, Profound, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if like old fashion musical about slavery with a religious undertone..

Don't see it if don't want to deal with the issue of slavery

Resonant, Epic, Great staging

See it if You're interested in learning about the man who wrote "Amazing Grace", and/or the British slave trade.

Don't see it if You're looking for something more lighthearted and funny.

Cast & Creatives (42)