Glenn doesn’t often go around praising Broadway shows – not since Spider-Man came out anyway. After recently attending a special pre-showing for Amazing Grace, Glenn had more than a little praise for the new musical.
“I don’t promote things and really stand on them if it’s just because, hey, this is a message and we should support this message. No, the message needs to be done right,” Glenn said.
Glenn described Amazing Grace as a story about slavery in colonial times, told accurately, in a really entertaining and compelling way, and how one man was changed and then began to change the world. It’s also about God, Glenn added.
After watching it a month and a half ago, Glenn predicted the show would be criticized harshly by the press, and sure enough, that’s what’s happening.
“They actually had a little hope that that wouldn’t happen. Because before it went to Broadway, it was in Chicago, and it got great reviews. Well, The New York Times and Variety and everybody else came out and just slaughtered this show.”
Despite the harsh reviews, Glenn said he couldn’t recommend the show highly enough.
“There is something special about this,” Glenn said. “While the song was going on – it was the finale, but it wasn’t like the point you clap – everybody stood up. We all just felt compelled to stand. There’s something happening with this show.”
He went on.
“If every American could see this show, you wouldn’t be having people say black lives matter. And you can’t dare say white lives don’t — or, white lives do. You know, all lives matter.”
If you’re anywhere near New York City and would like to attend Amazing Grace, tickets are available here.
Listen to the segment below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: I want to tell you that if you are anywhere in the New York area or planning to go to New York in the next six months, you need to see a show called Amazing Grace. We saw it in rehearsals before it opened up on Broadway. And, Pat, you thought it was really good.
PAT: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
GLENN: I saw it in a preview, before it opened up. I saw it finished. And I’m telling you, it is Les Miserables quality. The story is Les Miserables quality. The singing and acting is off the charts. These guys are top, top people. And what’s amazing about this is, this is the story of how the song Amazing Grace was written. If you know the story, it is so compelling to see it actually on Broadway. You can’t believe you’re sitting in a Broadway — New York City Broadway theater. Because you go to Broadway, and you can see all kinds of stuff that is degenerate. It is anything that is — just about anything that you see on Broadway today is tearing our culture, our traditional culture apart.
Now, here’s what’s happened. Because this is so unbelievably — it’s the story of slavery. It is the story of how one man was changed and then began to change the world. And it — so it’s slavery, black and white. And it’s about God. I said before when it was — before I even saw any of it, I said, you know you’re going to get panned by the New York Times and everyone else. No matter how good it is, you’re going to get slaughtered in the press. And they actually had a little hope that that wouldn’t happen. Because before it went to Broadway, it was in Chicago, and it got great reviews. Well, the New York Times and Variety and everybody else came out and just slaughtered this show. I left the show — and this is about a month and a half ago. And I wrote a review of it. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
When I heard — and Pat was there, we saw them do in rehearsal, we saw them do Amazing Grace, they just sat at the edge of the stage and sang it. I saw the full two and a half hour show, and the finale is Amazing Grace. And I heard that when it was in Chicago, people started just standing up during Amazing Grace. The whole audience just stood up. I will tell you that I was there, yeah, yeah, I’m sure. I was there, it compels you to stand up. When they begin to sing it, about halfway that song, the entire audience is in tears, and they’re all just standing. It’s not — it’s not an applause thing. It’s just like, I have to stand.
It’s truly remarkable. Truly remarkable. We have the guy who actually wrote it and wrote the music, Chris Smith is with us on the phone now. And I want to tell you something special because there’s a clause in the contract that they’re doing that is — that has put this show in even more jeopardy than just the New York Times trashing it.
Chris, are you there?
CHRIS: Hello. How are you doing, guys?
GLENN: Very good.
So tell me, Chris, what’s in the contract that can get you guys shut down?
CHRIS: Well, it’s not that anybody is looking to shut us down right now. But what happens, in any theater, you have to make it through a certain amount of tickets to get through the next month or week or whatever it is. So basically what we have to do is we have to get out there and people really have to demand this kind of entertainment having a place on Broadway.
GLENN: Okay. Hang on just a second. Because it’s not a problem — I was there, it was sold out. It’s not a problem with selling tickets. You have to sell them this week and next week to make it to Christmas, right?
CHRIS: We have to do this week and next week to make it to anywhere. But that’s always been the case. I mean, that’s every show. The problem is that August is so tough because nobody is around. You just have to get the word out. And, you know, that’s why I appreciate you having me on because we just really need to let people know that now is the time to come and say, this is what we want. This is what we want to see on Broadway. And bring a friend. Bring a relative. Bring a stranger.
GLENN: You will not believe — there were people in the crowd that I — I saw it — probably like a Harlem church or something was there, and it’s me and my family. And I’m telling you, we walked out, and all of us were hugging at the end. That doesn’t happen in New York. There is something special about this show that you will not feel. And you will not see this in any other show on Broadway. You just won’t.
So can you — go ahead.
CHRIS: Sorry. Go ahead.
No, every night somebody comes up to me and they say, you know, I’ve gone to the theater for however many decades. And I’ve never seen an audience connect with a cast like in this. So there’s something going on at the Nederlander Theatre that really can’t be explained. And just as you said, it’s just an amazing thing.
GLENN: As you — if you’re a regular listener of mine, you know that I don’t like — I don’t promote things and really stand on them if it’s just because, hey, this is a message and we should support this message. No, the message needs to be done right. And I’ll support the message when the message is done right. I’m not going to support something that is just crap, even if the message is good. This is an unbelievable message. This is — there is something magical that happens in this theater every night. And on top of it, this is a tremendous production. Just really, really good.
You want to tell the story real quick?
CHRIS: Well, basically it’s the story of John Newton who was a slave trader in the 1700s. He was an atheist. And he was just a miserable person. Man of the world. And he, in the midst of being a slave trader, actually was enslaved himself. And actually got just a little taste of what he was actually doing to other human beings. And on a voyage back from Africa, he was caught in a hurricane and had a really — he had to really come face-to-face what he had done and eternity. And it changed him. And not only did it change him and his relationships and his choices, but it actually influenced our world down to today. Because he was instrumental in blowing the lid off the slave trade. He did it from the inside. He was one of the world’s first whistle-blowers. And he said, this is what we’re really doing. This is what this empire really is. I was a part of it. We have to stop this. So it really does affect history.
GLENN: Yeah, and it’s not politically correct at all. I mean, at one point — he is captured as a slave by the black African queen.
CHRIS: And that’s true. That actually happened.
GLENN: Yeah. It shows black and whites were both in on this. And blacks and whites were both enslaved. And it’s the ugly truth all the way. And one of the reasons I think why people are panning this is because it doesn’t — it just says what it is. It just says this was evil. And it doesn’t play into anybody’s agenda except the truth. And it is something that I saw with the kids and my 9-year-old daughter at the very beginning was a little afraid. But she walked out absolutely loving it. My son loved it. My older kids loved it. We loved it as a family. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Buy your tickets now. Go to AmazingGraceMusical.com. That’s AmazingGraceMusical.com. Buy a ticket from their portal at that website.
Can they buy a ticket — do they have to buy it for the next two weeks, or can they buy it for upcoming?
CHRIS: No. You can buy for — the only reason we’re pushing the next two weeks is just because August is so important. Every ticket that’s sold in the next two weeks really speaks — it speaks for the industry. It speaks for the cast and to us, and we really appreciate it.
GLENN: Thank you very much, Chris. I really appreciate it. God bless.
CHRIS: Thank you, Glenn.
GLENN: You bet. You bet.
PAT: Good luck. I haven’t heard you stand on a musical since Spider-Man probably.
GLENN: And I see musicals all the time. I see Broadway shows all the time.
PAT: Did you like this better than Spider-Man?
PAT: Better than Spider-Man?
GLENN: Spider-Man I really liked because as you guys know, I said the show had problems, but for what they were doing, they broke all kinds of ground. You know what I mean?
GLENN: So I liked it for the bravery. Not only for the bravery, but also for the show itself. But I really liked it and respected it because they had balls. These guys do as well.
I mean, when you read the reviews, it’s like, how can white people possibly tell the story of slavery? It’s that kind of review that they’re getting. And it’s sickening. One of the guys who plays the — the older father’s personal slave who is enslaved with John Newton. This guy is — he’ll remind you of James Earl Jones. And I heard that from the audience — somebody said, I thought that was James Earl Jones when he was came out. He’s like a young James Earl Jones. This is just top quality all the way along, American history — well, colonial history. Told accurately, in a really entertaining and compelling way. And I will tell you, I have — there is something special about this. I have never felt like — I’ve never — I’ve never been like this. While the song was going on — it was the finale. But it wasn’t like the point you clap, everybody stood up. We all just felt compelled to stand. There’s something happening with this — with this show. I mean, if every American could see this show, you would — you wouldn’t be having people say black lives matter. And you can’t dare say white lives don’t — or, white lives do. You know, all lives matter. You don’t dare say all lives matter. It’s black lives matter. We would have an end to that conversation. Literally.
I was crying. The woman sitting right behind me on the aisle was crying. And as I walked out, she looked at me, I don’t have any idea if she knows who I was, but she just looked at me and she just opened up her arms at me. And I walked and she hugged me and I hugged her. I mean, it’s that powerful. It’s that powerful.
STU: Can you opt out of the hugs with random people in the audience? Is that possible?
GLENN: You can. No one will threaten you with a hug.
STU: Okay. Good. I’m in.
GLENN: You and Pat. That would make you wildly uncomfortable, wouldn’t it?
GLENN: I just think I scream huggable. I think the ladies know: huggable.
PAT: That’s it.
STU: Oh, my gosh, the entire media noticed it. MSNBC is talking about it.
GLENN: They’re like, Glenn Beck, there’s one thing about him, huggable. Huggable.
PAT: How many times have we seen that? Too many.
STU: Oh, gosh.
GLENN: I think people hug me because they’re like, it doesn’t look like he has any bones in that body. I think he’s like Flubber. I think he’s like Jell-O. I think — just, he’s the Pillsbury Doughboy.
STU: I will say, when we’re in New York, I hear a lot of people yelling, hug you, at you. And I was like, why are they doing that? That’s weird.
GLENN: Is that what they’re saying? That makes me feel better.
STU: I think so.
JEFFY: Are you sure that’s hug?
STU: Pretty sure. It sounds like it.