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1776 The Musical features lyrics and music by Sherman Edwards and book written by Peter Stone. The plot follows the events centered round the Declarations of Independence, focusing on, while fictionalizing, efforts made by John Adams to convince his colleagues into voting for American Independence. The musical premiered in 1969 on Broadway, winning favorable reviews and running more than twelve hundred times. The production received five Tony Award nominations, from which it won three including the category of Best Musical. In 1972, the musical was released as a film and in 1997, was revived years later on Broadway.
Its original 1969 production, received some of the most excellent reviews particularly that from New York Times which described the show to most handsomely demonstrate the events of 1776, which bring light to the fact that people who go for face-value are occasionally quite wrong. The review further quoted the production as the ‘most gripping, most striking musical’ that can make an ‘Englishman’s heart beat faster’, featuring characters that are ‘most unusually full. The musical’s thrilling history-based storyline, made 1776 The Musical tickets quite popular the first time the show debuted in 1969, and continues to do so till today.
Prior to the development of 1776 The Musical, Rodgers and Hart wrote only one musical in 1926 centered on the American Revolution, and called Dearest Enemy. Through most of the late fifties and beginning of the sixties, Sherman Edwards, a pop-singer released many hits and spent many years developing libretto and lyrics for a musical that would be based on the Declaration of Independence. The latter aimed at reflecting upon the founding fathers’ in their outermost limits, considering them to be the very top of their colonies. These prominent men were often faced with issues that resulted in deeper conflict but they still respected the significance of commitment, so that though they fought, they did so affirmatively, which is what inspired Edward.
Producer Stuart Ostrow suggested that Edwards and librettist Peter Stone collaborate on the musical’s book. Stone decided to focus all the action to the Independence Hall while also including the debate between delegates, which featured two female characters, Martha Jeffersoon and Abigail Adams. Following several tryouts in Washington and New Haven, the show finally debuted on Broadway in March 1969, at the well-known 46th Street Theatre, and was directed by former lightning director Peter Hunt. According to Stone, the moment one listened to the tune Sit Down, John, one could tell what1776 The Musical was about. For instance one could tell right away that characters like John Adams were not going to be projected as gods. The show’s main conflict surrounds Massachusetts-based delegate, Adam as the main protagonist who undertook the quest of persuading the other thirteen colonies to sign the Declaration of Independence.
1776 The Musical has received several notable awards including three Tony Awards won in 1969 in the categories of Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Performance by Featured Actor in Musical, where the later two went to Peter Hunt and Ron Holgate, respectively. The same year, the production was two Drama Desk Awards in the categories of Outstanding Design and Outstanding Book of a Musical, won by Patricia Zipprodt and Peter Stone, respectively. The musical has also won a Theatre World Award which went to ken Howard. The show’s revival in 1997 was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Direction of a Musical, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by Featured Actor for a Musical. The same production was nominated for four Drama Desk Awards in the categories of Outstanding Director from a Musical, Outstanding Actor from a Musical, Outstanding Featured Actor from a Musical, and Outstanding Revival of a Musical, among which the latter two were won. The show is on yet again and it is only a matter of time before it claims more awards, so get on to booking 1776 The Musical tickets and be there to experience the historically enlightening performance.
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