1776 THE MUSICAL

Critics

LemonMeter

94 %

Reviews: 18

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Before Hamilton, there was 1776 THE MUSICAL, the electrifying musical about the founding of America. Featuring a thrilling cast, this Tony Award-winning smash begins with a deadlocked Congress – sound familiar? Its attempts to adopt the Declaration of Independence are boiling over in heated confrontations. Spoiler alert: by the evening of July 2nd, the two sides are still miles apart! But remarkably, these contentious Founding Fathers harness their shared determination to do the right thing for a fledgling nation. See how they get it done! Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this Broadway musical shows us the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson as we've never seen them before — with humor and humanity. Irreverent and topical, 1776 THE MUSICAL is the musical that celebrates what truly made America great…in the first place. 1776 THE MUSICAL Music and Lyrics by SHERMAN EDWARDS Book by PETER STONE Based on a concept by SHERMAN EDWARDS Musical Direction by JEFF RIZZO Directed & Staged by GLENN CASALE

Reviews

Avatar

[Note: This is a review of the La Mirada production, which was also presented at The Saroya, formerly the Valley Performing Arts Center, in Northridge] So I think we have established that 1776 is an important musical to be seen — in the abstract. So why this production, and why now? First, because to see live theatre at the Saroya (nee VPAC) (FB) demonstrates that the San Fernando Valley wants first class musical theatre in the heart of the valley. Second, because in the political times we are facing today, it is important to remind ourselves of the need to compromise with those with whom we disagree, in furtherance of a larger and more important goal. Third, because the production team behind this production, McCoy – Rigby (FB), has a proven track record of doing strong theatre both at the southern edge of Los Angeles County, and now here in the valley. Lastly, because this production itself is very strong (I had only a few minor quibbles). Alas, however, the Saroya only bring in these shows for one weekend. We need to encourage them to do more theatre — both bringing in productions, as well as presenting on the Saroya stage, for the Saroya audience, more of the excellent work done by the Theatre department on campus.

sweet - Daniel Faigin - Observations Along the Road - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Having seen the musical HAMILTON when it was in Los Angeles, like many others I learned more important details about the founding fathers while watching it than I felt I had ever learned in school. Lin-Manuel Miranda who created that uber-successful musical in 2015, has said that 1776 THE MUSICAL, written in 1969 during another time of political and social unrest in the United States, has "one of the best books-if not the best-ever written for musical theatre." And now I can say I certainly agree with him. The perfect way to prove the arts can teach valuable history lessons to its audiences is by encouraging everyone to see 1776 THE MUSICAL.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Overall, this is a colorful, uplifting musical which is entertaining, thought provoking, and just plain fun. Kudos to Stephen Gifford for his perfect scenic design, Shon Le Blanc for those spectacular costumes, Jared A. Sayeg for beautiful lighting, and Philip G. Allen and Leon Rothenberg for great sound. With superb musical direction by Jeff Rizzo and terrific direction and staging by Glenn Casale, 1776 THE MUSICAL takes off. By all means, bring the kids. Let them experience the birth of their nation.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

1776 is an indestructible show. The music, plotting, and dialogue reward the audience with a stirring sense of patriotism. Sadly, this production at La Mirada allows the show to carry them, instead of the other way around.

sweet-sour - Jonas Schwartz - Arts in LA - ...read full review


Avatar

With Edwards' brilliant character sketches humanizing the founding fathers, the scene allows us to put ourselves in the position of John Adams. Knowing what was to come in the Civil War, the racist aftermath of Reconstruction, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the long-fought battle for civil rights, would we have done the same thing Adams did, sacrificing slavery for independence? See this marvelous production and decide for yourself.

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC Onstage - ...read full review


Avatar

In this engaging period piece, every word of dialogue and every lyric sung—everything that casual audiences might think would make for a disastrously boring theater piece because of its, well, scholastic subject matter—actually makes for an exciting and exuberant stage experience, that also illuminates an important moment in our nation's past that we can look back on with knowing, modern sensibilities...

...It's worth repeating just how excellent this production's huge ensemble is, led by the exceptional trio of Umberger, Van Norden, and Shaw as three main instigators for independency. Each actor gets a moment to shine and they take that responsibility to heart and we as the audience reap the rewards. They all have a palpable chemistry with each other, which relates well to their characters...

sweet - Michael L. Quintos - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar

Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this clever musical depicts the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with humor and humanity. Irreverent and certainly topical, this revival is directed and staged by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Jeff Rizzo.

sweet - Morna Martel - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Avatar

Some of L.A.'s most dependable actors have been assembled here, including Peter Van Norden, Teri Bibb and Michael Rothhaar. Jeff Rizzo leads an orchestra of eight.

Directed by Glenn Casale, the staging is solid, although it's merely diligent and studious where it should be urgent and inspired. The material's erudition makes it a bit stodgy; acceleration is required to keep things moving.

sweet-sour - Daryl Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

It's left to the wise old sage Franklin to convince Adams that the slavery clause has to go if a new American nation is to arise. Right now independence from Britain is the primary issue, and elevating the slavery question to a non-negotiable status jeopardizes the one cause that can unify all the colonies and bring them to unanimity. These, of course, are the messy, wrenching compromises that history is full of, yet without which advances could not have happened. Such painful decisions are sadly in the nature of progress, which never takes place simultaneously on all fronts. There will always be the idealists and purists, of course, who want their maximal demands met now—and even demand them of history. I have rarely been so patriotically moved as by the sound of the Liberty Bell ringing out from the orchestra as the Declaration is signed.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Leo Buck

A thoroughly delightful “Semi-History” lesson through song, “1776” is most assuredly a brave and uncommon musical—but nonetheless entrancing (maybe for this very reason.) Not only does it put very human faces (along with some very human foibles) on to all those ‘august' and ‘esteemed' figures who fill the pages of our text books, they're down-right entertaining ones at that!

sweet - Leo Buck - Buck-ing Trends - ...read full review


Avatar

Glorious moments of this production are multitudinous, but even though we all know how it turns out in the end, it's a true nail-biter. ...1776 remains highly recommended, especially to those parched individuals who need to be slaked from America's current dearth of inspiration.

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

...1776 is not simply a lesson in democracy; it is funny, engaging, entertaining, and ultimately memorable. Director Casale perfectly plumbs the humor of Stone's book, which debunks virtually every caricature of the Founding Fathers, from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock.

sweet - Hoyt Hilsman - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

1776 is an inspiring take on a monumental time in American history. Still, much dramatic license is taken with the script... With period-punctuated costuming by Shon LeBlanc; a time-setting scenic design by Stephen Gifford; mood-setting lighting by Jared Sayeg; pristine sound engineering by Philip G. Allen and Leon Rothenberg; and a rousing seven-member orchestra, 1776 gives a stirring retelling of this earthshaking episode in history. Don't miss it.

sweet - Ben Miles - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

Definition of Man is a powerful spectacle of human nature. Very Highly Recommended.

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia On The Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Watch for the spectacularly beautiful way this stirring, must-see production of 1776 ends - literally, poetry in motion.

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Avatar

This production entertains, it evokes admiration, it provokes discussion. But its most pertinent and useful purpose may be to encourage its audiences to reread the Declaration of Independence, in full. Now, that's a piece of writing.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Comparisons to the truly revolutionary Hamilton (“Be in the room where it actually happened!”) may be stretching things more than a bit too far, but that doesn't make 1776 any less of a ground-breaker for its time. Broadway would be hard-pressed to match the caliber of this fiftieth-anniversary Los Angeles revival.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

History buffs and musical fans will get a kick out of 1776, currently running at the LA Mirada Performing Arts Center. It's a great historical drama that stood and still stands on its own as a quality work of musical theatre.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Avatar

[Note: This is a review of the La Mirada production, which was also presented at The Saroya, formerly the Valley Performing Arts Center, in Northridge] So I think we have established that 1776 is an important musical to be seen — in the abstract. So why this production, and why now? First, because to see live theatre at the Saroya (nee VPAC) (FB) demonstrates that the San Fernando Valley wants first class musical theatre in the heart of the valley. Second, because in the political times we are facing today, it is important to remind ourselves of the need to compromise with those with whom we disagree, in furtherance of a larger and more important goal. Third, because the production team behind this production, McCoy – Rigby (FB), has a proven track record of doing strong theatre both at the southern edge of Los Angeles County, and now here in the valley. Lastly, because this production itself is very strong (I had only a few minor quibbles). Alas, however, the Saroya only bring in these shows for one weekend. We need to encourage them to do more theatre — both bringing in productions, as well as presenting on the Saroya stage, for the Saroya audience, more of the excellent work done by the Theatre department on campus.

sweet - Daniel Faigin - Observations Along the Road - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Having seen the musical HAMILTON when it was in Los Angeles, like many others I learned more important details about the founding fathers while watching it than I felt I had ever learned in school. Lin-Manuel Miranda who created that uber-successful musical in 2015, has said that 1776 THE MUSICAL, written in 1969 during another time of political and social unrest in the United States, has "one of the best books-if not the best-ever written for musical theatre." And now I can say I certainly agree with him. The perfect way to prove the arts can teach valuable history lessons to its audiences is by encouraging everyone to see 1776 THE MUSICAL.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Overall, this is a colorful, uplifting musical which is entertaining, thought provoking, and just plain fun. Kudos to Stephen Gifford for his perfect scenic design, Shon Le Blanc for those spectacular costumes, Jared A. Sayeg for beautiful lighting, and Philip G. Allen and Leon Rothenberg for great sound. With superb musical direction by Jeff Rizzo and terrific direction and staging by Glenn Casale, 1776 THE MUSICAL takes off. By all means, bring the kids. Let them experience the birth of their nation.

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar

1776 is an indestructible show. The music, plotting, and dialogue reward the audience with a stirring sense of patriotism. Sadly, this production at La Mirada allows the show to carry them, instead of the other way around.

sweet-sour - Jonas Schwartz - Arts in LA - ...read full review


Avatar

With Edwards' brilliant character sketches humanizing the founding fathers, the scene allows us to put ourselves in the position of John Adams. Knowing what was to come in the Civil War, the racist aftermath of Reconstruction, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the long-fought battle for civil rights, would we have done the same thing Adams did, sacrificing slavery for independence? See this marvelous production and decide for yourself.

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC Onstage - ...read full review


Avatar

In this engaging period piece, every word of dialogue and every lyric sung—everything that casual audiences might think would make for a disastrously boring theater piece because of its, well, scholastic subject matter—actually makes for an exciting and exuberant stage experience, that also illuminates an important moment in our nation's past that we can look back on with knowing, modern sensibilities...

...It's worth repeating just how excellent this production's huge ensemble is, led by the exceptional trio of Umberger, Van Norden, and Shaw as three main instigators for independency. Each actor gets a moment to shine and they take that responsibility to heart and we as the audience reap the rewards. They all have a palpable chemistry with each other, which relates well to their characters...

sweet - Michael L. Quintos - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar

Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this clever musical depicts the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with humor and humanity. Irreverent and certainly topical, this revival is directed and staged by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Jeff Rizzo.

sweet - Morna Martel - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Avatar

Some of L.A.'s most dependable actors have been assembled here, including Peter Van Norden, Teri Bibb and Michael Rothhaar. Jeff Rizzo leads an orchestra of eight.

Directed by Glenn Casale, the staging is solid, although it's merely diligent and studious where it should be urgent and inspired. The material's erudition makes it a bit stodgy; acceleration is required to keep things moving.

sweet-sour - Daryl Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

It's left to the wise old sage Franklin to convince Adams that the slavery clause has to go if a new American nation is to arise. Right now independence from Britain is the primary issue, and elevating the slavery question to a non-negotiable status jeopardizes the one cause that can unify all the colonies and bring them to unanimity. These, of course, are the messy, wrenching compromises that history is full of, yet without which advances could not have happened. Such painful decisions are sadly in the nature of progress, which never takes place simultaneously on all fronts. There will always be the idealists and purists, of course, who want their maximal demands met now—and even demand them of history. I have rarely been so patriotically moved as by the sound of the Liberty Bell ringing out from the orchestra as the Declaration is signed.

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Leo Buck

A thoroughly delightful “Semi-History” lesson through song, “1776” is most assuredly a brave and uncommon musical—but nonetheless entrancing (maybe for this very reason.) Not only does it put very human faces (along with some very human foibles) on to all those ‘august' and ‘esteemed' figures who fill the pages of our text books, they're down-right entertaining ones at that!

sweet - Leo Buck - Buck-ing Trends - ...read full review


Avatar

Glorious moments of this production are multitudinous, but even though we all know how it turns out in the end, it's a true nail-biter. ...1776 remains highly recommended, especially to those parched individuals who need to be slaked from America's current dearth of inspiration.

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

...1776 is not simply a lesson in democracy; it is funny, engaging, entertaining, and ultimately memorable. Director Casale perfectly plumbs the humor of Stone's book, which debunks virtually every caricature of the Founding Fathers, from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock.

sweet - Hoyt Hilsman - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

1776 is an inspiring take on a monumental time in American history. Still, much dramatic license is taken with the script... With period-punctuated costuming by Shon LeBlanc; a time-setting scenic design by Stephen Gifford; mood-setting lighting by Jared Sayeg; pristine sound engineering by Philip G. Allen and Leon Rothenberg; and a rousing seven-member orchestra, 1776 gives a stirring retelling of this earthshaking episode in history. Don't miss it.

sweet - Ben Miles - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

Definition of Man is a powerful spectacle of human nature. Very Highly Recommended.

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia On The Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Watch for the spectacularly beautiful way this stirring, must-see production of 1776 ends - literally, poetry in motion.

sweet - Ed Rampell - Free Press - ...read full review


Avatar

This production entertains, it evokes admiration, it provokes discussion. But its most pertinent and useful purpose may be to encourage its audiences to reread the Declaration of Independence, in full. Now, that's a piece of writing.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Comparisons to the truly revolutionary Hamilton (“Be in the room where it actually happened!”) may be stretching things more than a bit too far, but that doesn't make 1776 any less of a ground-breaker for its time. Broadway would be hard-pressed to match the caliber of this fiftieth-anniversary Los Angeles revival.

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

History buffs and musical fans will get a kick out of 1776, currently running at the LA Mirada Performing Arts Center. It's a great historical drama that stood and still stands on its own as a quality work of musical theatre.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review