Diane and I like to support local theater companies so we bought tickets to this O’Connell and Company musical that featured an all female cast. The founding fathers, who declared that all men were created equal–but didn’t give the slightest thought to women’s suffrage–are all played by women. The result is ironic and fun. I appreciated the energy and singing of the women who played John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. The musical shows how difficult it was to reach unimity on the Declaration of Independence. Each of the 13 colonies protected their own agenda. It’s amazing this country ever got established!

Sherman Edwards provided the lyrics and music to 1776 and Peter Stone provided the book. 1776 premiered on Broadway in 1969 and ran for 1,217 performances. The production was nominated for five Tony Awards and won three, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. In 1972, a movie version of 1776, starring William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Donald Madden, John Cullum, Ken Howard and Blythe Danner, hit the big screens around the country. 1776 was revived on Broadway in 1997. Have you seen 1776? Did you like it? GRADE: B+
Act I
“Sit Down, John” – Adams and Congress
“Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve” – Adams
“Till Then” – Adams and Abigail
“The Lees of Old Virginia” – Lee, Franklin and Adams
“But, Mr. Adams” – Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Sherman and Livingston
“Yours, Yours, Yours” – Adams and Abigail
“He Plays the Violin” – Martha, Franklin, and Adams
“Cool, Cool, Considerate Men” – Dickinson and The Conservatives
“Mama Look Sharp” – Courier, McNair and Leather Apron
Act II
“The Egg” – Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Congress
“Molasses to Rum” – Rutledge
“Compliments” – Abigail Adams
“Is Anybody There?” – Adams and Thomson

12 thoughts on “1776: THE MUSICAL

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Saw the movie and disliked it, but I am not a fan of musicals in general. Glad you liked it though.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    We have and did and, in fact, still do. We saw the original Broadway production, still yet to be topped – Betty Buckley made her Broadway debut as Martha Jefferson – and also the 1997 Roundabout Theatre Company revival with Brent (Data) Spiner as Adams and Pat Hingle as Franklin. That was quite good too. The Roundabout is planning another revival. We also saw the movie when it came out and have the DVD (it is one of Jackie’s favorites), which we watch annually around July 4.

    An all-woman version must have been very different.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I missed the movie version so I need to track down a copy. Yes, the all-woman cast of this musical give the play a very different twist.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    I found the end – the recreation of the “Signing of the Declaration of Independence” painting – very moving on stage, especially in the original version.

    Just before Jackie left her elementary school for other pastures in 1998, she had her class do a version of a scene from 1776, where the South walks out over slavery. She had this very talented black boy sing “Molasses to Rum to Slaves” to great acclaim. A couple of years later, he was playing Young Simba in THE LION KING on Broadway.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Jackie may have ignited that kid’s interest in acting and singing! “Molasses to Rum to Slaves” is the most moving–and disturbing–song in the musical. And true…

  4. Rick Robinson

    So…the founding mothers, eh? And I thought that would be Frank Zappa. I guess everything has to has a women-replacing those slime ball-men thing these days. Sigh. That’s certainly what seems to be happening at CBS News.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, Jeff Glor comes from Western New York and recently spoke here saying he was hoping he could build an audience for the CBS EVENING NEWS. But, after 18 months, his newscast was still in Third Place behind NBC and ABC so the ax fell.


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