“We were being transformed”: Glenn reviews Broadway’s Amazing Grace

There are many shows on Broadway. The most successful promote lifestyles that do not reflect 90% of our nation, or they openly mock God, the religious, conservative principles, our nation or those live in the center of the country.

There are shows, usually the older shows, that are just plain fun and don’t hurt anyone but I find them to be rare.

Recently I saw Larry David’s A Fish In the Dark. It included a couple of dark scenes but if you could get past that it was flat out hysterical and the cast was classic.

But there is something very different that is about to open on Broadway. It is called:

Amazing Grace.

I saw cuttings during rehearsal and recently saw the show in previews. It lives up to its name.

It is the story of Captain John Newton. The man who was a slave ship captain who had a road to Damascus moment that not only changed him but through him changed the world.

It is one of my favorite historic stories that everyone should know. But they don’t, even though everyone loves the song he wrote.

The first half was good, the acting off the charts as was the singing talent. But my hopes were so high I was bound to be disappointed. When we went to intermission those around me had already shed a tear and were buzzing about how great it was.

I thought to myself, I guess I was expecting a spiritual slap in the face. A profound and personal wake up call.

Then the curtain came up for the second half. From the moment the lights came up it was if the theater transformed. You could feel the spirit. Song after song as they told the story more and more tears were shed.

The large black church congregation that was sitting just behind me from Brooklyn began to say, “amen” as did the quiet, reserved white guy sitting at the end of my row. Everyone was sucked in and apart of what was happening.

What was happening was something far greater than a really special broadway show.

We were being transformed, our hearts were softened and there was a spiritual healing that was happening.

When, in the end, Amazing Grace was sung, I and others apparently, felt pulled out of our seats. It felt almost wrong to sit and I, for one, could not.

Half of the audience stood up almost together, weeping.

The other half leaped to their feet the minute the song was over.

I have seen 100’s of Broadway’s shows over the years but I do not recall one where people were as fast to give a standing ovation as this show.

It was the original cast of Les Miserable except the storyline was more powerful and the timing was only as God could time it. That is saying something I know.

I never stay for the end of shows as we always leave on the last line. We stood for the 8 minute ovation. On the way out white and black were crying and some of us even hugged each other.

“Oh, if everyone in the country could experience this show, many of our problems would fall away.” I thought and heard others say.

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.

It just did.

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.

This cast will look again for this experience for the rest of their lives. This is special.

The New York Times and others will not experience this show the same way and because it treats this in Gods light, I would imagine it will be ignored. It couldn’t be panned. It is up to you. Buy tickets and spread the word.