1776 Review

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Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

1776 presented Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre. through July 26. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Sunday performance.

An ineffective Congress plagued by petty personalities and in-fighting. No, it’s not my Facebook news feed, but 1776, a musical which dramatizes the efforts of John Adams to persuade his colleagues, to vote for American independence, and to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Brett Bowling as John Dickinson and members of the Continental Congress. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Brett Bowling as John Dickinson and members of the Continental Congress. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

As a whole, the men’s ensemble is excellent. Each actor created a strong characterization for their role. Throughout the show, I never noticed anyone out of character or not being involved in the action on stage. Brett Bowling is very strong as the aptly named John Dickinson. Also strong are Rodger Pille as John Adams, Bob Brunner as Benjamin Franklin, Justin Glaser as Edward Rutledge and Allison Muennich as Abigail Adams.

Jamie Steele as Andrew McNair, Kelcey Steele as Courier & Cameron Alexander Nalley as Leather Apron. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Jamie Steele as Andrew McNair, Kelcey Steele as Courier & Cameron Alexander Nalley as Leather Apron. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

A vocally strong cast, favorite numbers included “For God’s Sake, Sit Down,”Momma Look Sharp” and “Molasses to Rum.” Rich Roedersheimer, as Richard Henry Lee, has a strong voice for “The Lees of Old Virginia,” but the accent used made understanding the lyrics difficult. Lindsey Franxman, as Martha Jefferson, struggled with some of the high notes in her solo work.

Matt Krieg as Thomas Jefferson, Bob Brunner as Ben Franklin  & Rodger Pille as John Adams, Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Matt Krieg as Thomas Jefferson, Bob Brunner as Ben Franklin & Rodger Pille as John Adams, Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Caren Young’s wigs and costumes for the production are well-conceived and executed. With great attention to detail, each character had a distinctive look which created a believable world for this production.

Brett Bowling also serves as the resident set designer for Cincinnati Landmark Productions. I enjoyed the simple and balanced design of the set. The multiple levels and gradual curve of the main playing area created great sight lines for the audience. I do think a border curtain would help frame the stage. Without it, the cyc tends to carry your eye up to the pole where you can see the tie-offs and instruments hanging.

Allison Muennich as Abigail Adams. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Allison Muennich as Abigail Adams. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Overall, director Matthew Wilson and music director Michael Kennedy have created a strong, satisfying and entertaining production.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Also congratulations are in order for Allison Muennich on her engagement. “Mrs. Adams” was surprised with an onstage proposal during the second Sunday curtain call. And she said “yes.”

Individual tickets for the 2015-2016 Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre’s District series are now available. Productions include EXTREMITIES, RENT, AVENUE Q and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. For more information visit http://www.cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com/Incline/News3.aspx.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “1776 Review

  1. Pingback: Top Stories for July 2015 | Behind the Curtain Cincinnati

  2. Pingback: Cryptoquote Spoiler – 08/14/15 | Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

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