Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Casting Announced for Amazing Grace Musical in Connecticut

Goodspeed Musicals has announced casting for the new musical Amazing Grace running May 17- June 10 at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, Goodspeed’s home for developing new works.

From the theater:
Storms. Slavery. Romance. Redemption. Prepare to be swept away by this epic musical saga about John Newton, a rebellious slave trader, and the woman who never lost faith in him. While fighting the raging seas and his own despair, Newton’s life is suddenly transformed - igniting a quest to end the scourge of slavery. Based on a true story of the man who penned the world’s most recognizable song, it’s a powerful musical you will never forget.

Amazing Grace features music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and book by Arthur Giron and Christopher Smith.

Goodspeed Musicals, the first two-time Tony Award winning theatre in the country, is delighted to announce that the cast of Amazing Grace will be led by Chris Peluso who will play John Newton. Peluso appeared in Broadway’s Mamma Mia!, Lestat, and Assassins.Whitney Bashor will play Mary Catlett. Laiona Michelle will play Nanna/Ayotunde. Mike Evarsite will play Thomas/Keita. Captain Newton will be played by Dennis Parlato of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Sound of Music, Chess, and A Chorus Line as well as Mrs. McThing at Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre.

Major Gray will be played by Chris Hoch of Broadway’s La Cage aux Folles; Shrek The Musical;Spamalot; Dracula, the Musical; and Beauty and the Beast. Hoch also appeared in Goodspeed’s Caraboo, Princess of Javasu at The Norma Terris.

Harriet D. Foy will play The Princess. Ms. Foy appeared in Broadway’s The American Plan, Mamma Mia! and Once on This Island as well as in Goodspeed’s Good Sports at The Norma Terris Theatre.

The ensemble includes Jonathan Burke, Merideth Kaye Clark, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Crowe, Tyrone Davis Jr., Rachael Ferrera,Liam Forde, Logan Rose Nelms, Adbur Rahim Jackson, Olivia Bowman Jackson, Allen Kendall, Alex Krasser, Kate Marilley, Danny Rothman, Gavriel Savit, Victoria Thornsbury, Paul Michael Valley, Charles E. Wallace, Toni Elizabeth White and Noah Zachary.

Amazing Grace will be directed by Gabriel Barre. Choreography will be by Benoit-Swan Pouffer.
The set will be designed by Beowulf Boritt, costumes will be designed by Toni-Leslie James.

Amazing Grace will run May 17 through June 10, 2012. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2 and 7:30 pm., Thursday at 7:30 p.m.*, Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 3 and 8 pm and Sunday at 2 and 6:30 pm (*Thurs. 8 pm only on May 17th).

Tickets: 860-873-8668; www.goodspeed.org.

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The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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