BWW Blog: James Beaman of Cape Playhouse's 1776 - Philadelphia Part 2
My whirlwind day trip to the City of Brotherly Love continued with stops at as many places I could get to that either figure in the story of 1776 or might evoke 18th century Philadelphia. There are still some wonderful pockets of the city that are very much like they were a couple hundred years ago, the most charming of which is Elfreth's Alley. This little cobbled lane lined with quaint houses (all still residential homes) is the oldest residential street in America and looks just as it would have had John Adams himself strolled down it in the summer of '76.
My friends and I hit places like the Betsy Ross House, the Free Quaker Meeting House, the Liberty Bell Center and the site known as Declaration House, which is where Thomas Jefferson was living at the time of the 2nd Continental Congress and where he wrote the Declaration of Independence. As we ambled from one historic place to another, we shared the sidewalks of Philly with school groups being led by tour guides in tricorne hats and knee breeches-and sneakers.
Our excursion ended at the City Tavern, a recreation of the public house where the Congress gathered to eat and drink outside of the charged atmosphere in Independence Hall. The interior of the place is full of old world charm and the servers are all costumed and brimming with good cheer. We were presented with a sampling of 18th century libations made from actual recipes from the founding fathers. Quite nice! This day trip to Philly helped me to put myself imaginatively into the world of the play in a really helpful way. Next field trip-Boston!