First Broadway Touring Production to Play at Heritage Center

Dec 19, 2017 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, IOWA – University of Dubuque Heritage Center continues its fifth annual Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series by hosting its first touring Broadway show.

Fresh off its Broadway run, Amazing Grace: A New Broadway Musical will stop at Heritage Center as part of its first national tour. This new original musical is based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. The Washington Post wrote, “The staging is superb, with moments of genuine astonishment. As spectacular as anything on Broadway, Amazing Grace tells the story of how the song came to be, and elicits widespread gasps & cheering from the audience!”

WHAT:                 Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series –Amazing Grace: A New Broadway Musical

WHEN:                Tuesday, Feb. 13 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:              John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque

TICKETS:            $45-$50 adults, $41-$45 military/UD alumni, $20 child/student

SPECIAL NOTE: Heritage Center Farber Box Office will be closed Friday, Dec. 22, through Monday, Jan. 1. During this time, Amazing Grace: A New Broadway Musical full-price adult tickets will be discounted by $5.00 and online convenience fees waived. Normal box office hours resume Tuesday, Jan. 2.

“Amazing Grace,” the world’s most recognizable hymn, was written by ruthless slave trader turned abolitionist, John Newton. The hymn tells the story of a man suffering under the weight of his own cruelty. He has a dramatic conversion where his eyes are opened to his own decrepit ways and to the grace and forgiveness that washed it all away.

Amazing Grace: A New Broadway Musical is a captivating tale of romance, rebellion, and redemption. This radiant production follows Newton, a willful and musically talented young Englishman, as he 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 – or embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart. Accompanied by his slave, Thomas, Newton embarks on a perilous voyage on the high seas. When that journey finds Newton in his darkest hour, a transformative moment of self-reckoning inspires a blazing anthem of hope that will finally guide him home.

In the summer of 2012, Amazing Grace broke box office records when it was presented at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut. In the fall of 2014, Amazing Grace’s World Premiere production was presented at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago as a pre-Broadway engagement. On Oct. 25, 2015, Amazing Grace played its final Broadway performance at the Nederlander Theatre in New York.

Prior to the show, Amazing Grace producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland will deliver a free pre-show lecture from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Straatmeyer Room, adjacent to Butler Hall, where she will offer insights and background on the development and production of this Broadway musical and its national tour.

“It’s a legitimate Broadway production with all of the accoutrements. The set is as if it were to be performed on West 41st Street in New York,” said the Rev. William “B.J.” Weber (S’79), a University of Dubuque Theological Seminary alum who is friends with Copeland and resides in New  York.

Copeland was one of the first people Weber met in 1979 when he moved to New York City to minister to addicts, prostitutes, teenage runaways, and the homeless. Weber, a Dubuque native, co-pastored a Times Square mission church, was the chaplain of the New York Yankees, and founded more than 25 inner-city ministries. Weber and his wife, Sheila, founded the New York Fellowship, an interdenominational ministry that provides spiritual direction, counseling, and pastoral care to leaders in the business and professional communities of the New York City area.

Weber said he suggested to Copeland that she bring Amazing Grace to Heritage Center

“I think the performance will be greater than people’s expectations,” Weber said.

Area churches are encouraged to consider a block ticket purchase for groups of 15 or more at a substantial discount. Tickets for Amazing Grace can be purchased Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563.585.SHOW; or online at The Farber Box Office will be closed Dec. 22 through Jan. 1. During this time, Amazing Grace full-price adult tickets will be discounted by $5.00 and online convenience fees waived. Normal box office hours resume Jan. 2.