Five Burning Questions with Amazing Grace's Tony-Nominated Star Josh Young
June 24th, 2015
by Josh Ferri
Insane-voiced Jesus Christ Superstar Tony Award nominee Josh Young returns to Broadway as John Newton, the protagonist of the powerful new musical Amazing Grace. The epic stage saga follows Newton as he wrestles with his views on slavery, his role within the slave trade business, and his own experience as a captive in Africa—all of which leads the willful Brit to create one of the most enduring songs of all-time. Below, the Pennsylvania native chats with BroadwayBox about crying at the theatre, the Superstar whirlwind, and perfecting his English accent.
1. You’re going to make all of us cry at Amazing Grace; when is the last time you cried at the theatre?
Finding Neverland. I saw everything this season and Finding Neverland made me cry.
2. Who is your English accent idol for this show? Who are we going to hear you resembling?
Tom Hewitt. He doesn't have an English accent but his English accent is the best. I’m basing my fake English accent on Tom Hewitt’s fake English accent.
3. What song do you love so much you’d want to see a whole musical about its backstory?
“Latch” by Sam Smith. It’s one of my favorite songs. [Onstage], it would be a love story.
4. When you look back on the whole Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar experience (getting sick during previews, the Tony nomination, the Tony Awards, etc), what do you remember most?
Oh my god, that was rough. Obviously, getting nominated for a Tony is a huge honor. But I had been doing that show for almost a year before we got to Broadway—I did nine months in Canada and then La Jolla—and right when my dreams are about to come true on Broadway, I get bronchitis. And it’s almost impossible to heal from bronchitis when you have to sing that show and huff and puff, running all over the set and jumping off scaffolding—and I couldn't get better. Thank goodness, this stuff [Amazing Grace] is a joy to sing.
5. What performance did you see that made you want to be an actor?
The first show I ever saw was the national tour of Les Miserables in Philadelphia and Hugh Panaro was playing Marius, and I said, ‘I want to play Marius some day.’ And I ended up playing Marius and then I ended up playing Marius to his Jean Valjean, which was pretty cool.
What did Hugh say when you told him this story?!
“You’re making me feel old.”
Let Josh Young and the cast of 'Amazing Grace' make you ugly cry at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre.