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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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