Tony Award winning musical “1776” makes a culture-embracing revival at the Ahmanson in Downtown Los Angeles.
The brilliant cast is a rainbow of races, cultures, and genders identifying as female, transgender, and non-binary. Many may compare this modern revival to “Hamilton” for this reason, and due to its historical subject matter. The story indeed deals with the debate amongst the Continental Congress, the divisive decision to become independent of the British crown or remain oppressed under their tyranny.
Originally debuting in the discriminating social era of 1969 by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards, this musical touches on the hypocrisy of men in the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a sign of our strength yet a reminder of our weaknesses in stating that all men are created equal yet equally stating that only white men are created free. And though many fought for even their slaves to be free, they had to make concessions to win the debate to unify the colonies in the fight for independence. This musical was relevant when it first debuted and it is still relevant today in so assuring us that history indeed has a way of repeating itself.
The divisiveness onstage taking place acts as a mirror of the myriad of social issues still dividing us today. Hence, the choice for casting is only more profound. The multimedia that is portrayed in a certain part of the musical makes us both proud of our country and our history, yet harkens us to make more strident marks for change especially with how the media has awakened us.
The music itself moved me by the strength of the performers. While John Adams seems to be the one rallying for independence (and the others joke he could never shut up or let someone else talk), I was pleased that the writers made a space for the other players to show their brilliance as well. Each character, no matter how small, played a part and had a voice. And their voices (the actors’ onstage) are phenomenal. An especially standout performance too was the talented Nancy Anderson (Thomas Jefferson) who not only can sing and dance but can play the violin. (But I may be partial since Jefferson has always been my favorite of the founding fathers.)
This musical is only here for a few more weeks, through May 7th, so get your tickets now and find out more information of the play Here!