Press Releases

Broadway’s AMAZING GRACE: The Musical Unveils Cast for Upcoming National Tour

Published: Sep 20, 2017

Posted In: Press Releases

 Broadway’s AMAZING GRACE to Christen World Stage Theater at Museum of the Bible


WASHINGTON – As the first stop on its upcoming national tour, AMAZING GRACE, the inspirational Broadway musical will be the first production to inaugurate the new, state-of-the-art World Stage Theater at Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The production, directed by the Broadway Director Gabrielle Barre and Tony Award Winner Christopher Gatelli, is slated for an eight-week run beginning first night open to the public on Nov. 18, 2017.

And now the acclaimed Broadway production announces its cast for the upcoming tour.


Leads include Michael Burrell who plays John Newton (Credits include: Oklahoma! – Curly, Legally Blonde – Warner, Evita – Perón), Russell Rinker who plays Captain Newton (Credits include: Blue Man Group – Las Vegas, NYC, Boston, Chicago, North American Tour, Emile – South Pacific) along with Isaiah Bailey who plays Newton’s slave, Thomas (Credits include: Pharaoh & Moses U/S – Moses, Dreamgirls – Curtis Taylor Jr., Big Fish – Don Price) and Newton’s childhood sweetheart, Mary Catlett, played by Eleanor Todd (Credits include: NYMF: Beyond Words, Lucille Frank – Parade, and Sandra Bloom – Big Fish). (NOTE: Full cast list and photo downloads below).


The World Stage Theater at Museum of the Bible is a world-class, performing arts theater located inside the forthcoming 430,000-square-foot museum. Located just two blocks from the National Mall, the 472-seat venue will showcase a first-of-its-kind, digital mapping system able to transform the theater and stage environment into a virtual canvas, surrounding the audience with a dynamic visual experience to augment and enhance what they see onstage.


AMAZING GRACE, written by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron, is an “unforgettable musical saga” depicting the conversion of John Newton, the composer of Amazing Grace, from a brutal slave trader to a committed Reformer and Christian who would ultimately pen the “hymn of hymns.”


The upcoming national tour will be the first production of the musical in North America since its pre-Broadway opening in Chicago and subsequent engagement on Broadway at The Nederlander Theater came to a close Oct. 25, 2015. The Washington Post proclaimed:


The timing of this sweeping and inspirational new Broadway musical couldn’t be better. 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 and cheering from the audience.” 


AMAZING GRACE is produced by Alexander Rankin of Continental Productions in consultation with the Broadway Producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland. All music and lyrics created by Christopher Smith. Book by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron.


Performance Dates: Nov. 14, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018 with tickets available at


Group ticketing options are also available by emailing


Cast photos available for download here.



Amazing Grace

Full Cast List and Bios


Isaiah Bailey (Thomas/Pakuteh), native Arkansan and proud Oklahoma City University Alumni, is thrilled to be a part of the Amazing Grace Cast! Highlighted credits include: Sight and Sound Theatre Branson: Moses (Pharaoh & Moses U/S); Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma: Dreamgirls (Curtis Taylor Jr.), Big Fish (Don Price); Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: Lés Miserablés (Javert); Poteet Theatre: Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), The Color Purple (Mister) "Col 3:23" 


Monique Elinor Barnes (Yema) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She studied acting, voice, dance and African drums at Loch Raven Academy. At Perry Hall High School, Monique sang in choir and performed in her first musical Suessical the Musical. She graduated from The Lincoln University, the first HBCU in the nation, in 2014, majoring in Vocal Performance. At Lincoln, she appeared as Zodzetrick in TreeMonisha, was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and reigned as Miss Lincoln University 2013-14. Monique traveled the world with the Lincoln University Concert Choir from California all the way to the motherland South Africa. 


Kelli Blackwell (Nanna) is beyond thrilled to be a part of Amazing Grace! Credits: Chicago (National Tour), A Streetcar Named Desire, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Everyman Theatre); Ain't Misbehavin' (Olney Theatre), Once on this Island (Cortland Repertory Theatre), Nunsense (RGA Media, Canada); Dreamgirls, The Wiz; A Christmas Carol, Grease, Hairspray (Toby’s).


Michael Burrell (John Newton) recently graduated from Texas State University, BFA Musical Theater. Favorite credits include Oklahoma! (Curly), Legally Blonde (Warner), Evita (Perón). He starred in the workshop of Alex Gemignani’s new musical, swingset/moon. He has appeared in concert with Andrew Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth. Twitter/IG: @michaelpburrell


Wyn Delano (Major Gray) D.C Area: Oklahoma! (Jud Fry), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Adam), Parade, The Buddy Holly Story. Regional: The Fantasticks (El Gallo), As We Lie Still (S.W Premiere), Hello Dolly (Cornelius), Star Wars: In Concert (Hollywood Bowl), Trinity Shakespeare Festival. Wyn also works professionally in voice-over and radio. B.F.A Theatre from TCU in Fort Worth, TX. 


Shannan E. Johnson (Princess Peyai) National Tours: 1st National Tour Ghost the Musical Regional: Dreamgirls, Sister Act the Musical, How To Quit Your Day Job, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Featured Narrator; Dance: Step Afrika!, Sole Defined. BA, Texas A&M University/ MFA, Florida State University.


Jennifer Lyons Pagnard (Mrs. Catlett) Performing experience: Keegan Theatre: Parade (Sally Slaton); 1st Stage: Floyd Collins (Miss Jane); Source Festival: Perfect Arrangement (Kitty); Creative Cauldron: A Christmas Carol Memory (Ellen); Little Theatre of Alexandria:  Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett); Ragtime (Mother); The Odd Couple (Female Version) (Florence); The U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C.: vocalist/concert announcer.


Russell Rinker (Captain Newton) Blue Man Group (Las Vegas, NYC, Boston, Chicago, North American Tour);  Emile, South Pacific, Gaylord, Show Boat, Toby’s Dinner Theatre; Hanratty, Catch Me If You Can, NextStop Theatre; Harold Hill, The Music Man, King, The King and I, Pirate King, Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre; Wayside Theatre; Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Virginia Shakespeare Festival


David Sanborn (Billingsley) is most known for his portrayals of historical figures in epic musicals, such as Jesus in The Miracle and the title roles in Judah Ben-Hur, Yeshua and King David, off-Broadway. Some of his other favorite roles include: Tony in West Side Story (Spanish Lyric Theatre), George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (Live Oak Theatre), and Simon in The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Arena Theatre). He recently headlined in the role of Paul in the feature film, The Investigator. He holds a bachelor's degree in Music-theatre from Wheaton College, and is thrilled to be a part of this inspiring musical.


Joshua Simon (Einhorn/Prince) is thrilled to be joining this cast! A DC native, credits include James and the Giant Peach (ATMTC), Ragtime (Toby’s), Beauty and the Beast (Imagination Stage), Floyd Collins (1st Stage), Redd, Whyte or Blu (Rickshaw Readers), and Dani Girl (Unexpected Stage). Education: BFA, NYU/Tisch (see his face on the official Tisch Drama webpage!).


David Socolar (Robert Haweis) is excited to be making his D.C. debut in Amazing Grace.

Instagram: @davidsocolar


James Tarrant (Whitley) hails from Brooklyn, NY and is beyond excited to join the cast of Amazing Grace. Regional: Grease (Teen Angel/Eugene), Annie Get Your Gun. DMV: Sweeney Todd, Heathers. BM: Catholic University of America.


Eleanor Todd (Mary Catlett) is a graduate of the University of Michigan, BFA Musical Theatre. Theater/ Film: War Paint (Workshop; Dir. Michael Greif), NYMF: Beyond Words; Keegan Theatre: Parade (Lucille Frank) and Big Fish (Sandra Bloom); Shakespeare Theatre Co.: God is Dead and April's Getting Married; Actor’s Guild of Lexington: SubUrbia (Erica); Kentucky Conservatory Theatre: Legally Blonde (Elle Woods); Liberty’s Secret (Amazon).


Kanysha Williams (Ensemble) is a Washington Metropolitan Area native and a product of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and George Mason University. Recently, Kanysha has been seen in productions such as “The WIZ” (Dorothy), “Shrek The Musical” (Dragon), and “Sister Act” (Deloris Van Cartier). She currently teaches music and performs in Washington D.C.


Jordan Campbell (Ensemble) Hailing from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, Jordan has performed at various theatres in New York City, Nashville and Washington DC, where he currently lives. In addition to his performance career, Jordan worked at the White House during the Obama administration focusing on Arts Education. As a teaching artist, Jordan provides learning experiences for students and teachers in schools across America. Proud graduate of Western Kentucky University. Follow Jordan’s adventures at


Colleen Clancy (Ensemble) is overjoyed to be sharing this beautiful and inspiring story with so many audiences.  Previous roles include Charity in Sweet Charity (Mazeppa Productions), Penelope Square in the regional premiere of Polkadots the Cool Kids Musical (Limelight PAC), Cinderella in Into the Woods (Limelight PAC), Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), and Narrator in Joseph…Dreamcoat (DeSales University).  Love and thanks always to God and family.


Nicki Elledge (Ensemble) Signature Theatre: A Little Night Music (Anne); Toby’s Dinner Theatre: Beauty and the Beast (Belle); Utah Shakespeare Festival: The Cocoanuts, South Pacific, The Greenshow; Lambs Players Theatre: The Angel’s Arms, OZ, Joe vs. the Volcano; Welk Resorts Theatre: Fiddler on the Roof; LEGOLAND CA: LEGO Friends to the Rescue. The Catholic University of America: BM in Musical Theatre.


Dion Montéz Jarrett (Ensemble) is blessed to be a part of the D.C premiere of Amazing Grace. Recent credits include: Ragtime (Ensemble, Ogunquit Playhouse) Showboat ( Ensemble/Jake) Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas ( us Old Max, Grand Ole Opry) . Special thanks to my friends and family. All glory to God for this opportunity! Mom, dad and Monkey I love you!


Da’Von Moody (Ensemble) is so excited to be bringing this classic story to the Museum of the Bible! Credits include: Montgomery College: Avenue Q - Princeton, BatBoy - Pan, In the Heights - Graffiti Pete. MC SDT: 7 Brides for 7 Brothers - Adam, Side Show.

Briana Gibson Reeves (Ensemble) is a classically trained actress with an MFA from the Academy of Classical Acting at George Washington University in conjunction with The Shakespeare Theatre Company.  Recent theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta), Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Mindy)Amen Corner (Sister Boxer). Jeremiah 29:11. @brianafgibson


Morgan Scott (Ensemble) is a native to the Washington DC Metro Area. He grew up in Montgomery County playing saxophone in bands all over the county, but once he started doing theatre he realized that was where his true passion lies. He is very excited to start this journey with Amazing Grace.


Andrew Tarquinio (Ensemble) is humbled to be making his professional acting debut with the national tour of Amazing Grace. Recent credits include The Circle of Life: The Songs of Tim Rice performed at Strathmore Hall. Previously, Andrew worked full time in Development and Grant Administration for a policy organization in Washington D.C. More info can be found at




Museum of the Bible - Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through and a 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum are available on


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