BWW Blog: James Beaman of Cape Playhouse's 1776 - Clothes Make the Man!

June 30
7:46 AM 2014
BWW Blog: James Beaman of Cape Playhouse's 1776 - Clothes Make the Man!

One of the reasons I became enamored of acting as a child was the opportunity to put on period costumes and to imagine I was going back in time. It's one of the giddy pleasures of being an actor-dress up! And there are few periods that are quite as distinctive and fun as the 18th century. In this week's vlog post, I have my first fitting for my John Adams costume with designer Gail Baldoni.

I have been familiar with Gail's design work for some time, and she has a wonderful eye for detail and a really creative and effective sense for color. My Adams costume is a heavy, structured suit of deep forest green with a beautiful waistcoat in deep plum with silver buttons. Underneath I have one of those voluminous white romantic shirts with a ruffled neckpiece. And despite what you see in the vlog, I will have stockings and buckled shoes, never fear!

I am grateful to Gail for understanding what I feel about Adams-he came from a solid, simple New England farm family; he was the first to attend college and to go into law. His duty to appear respectable and upright as a member of the Continental Congress would have dictated a certain dignity in his appearance, but I think he would have eschewed frills and flashy clothes. I find what Gail has created really in line with the man I want to embody-simple, plain spoken, with a sense of self but an abhorrence of falseness and overt vanity.

Of course, trying on one's costume makes the whole adventure of playing a role just that more real! I am more excited with each day and each piece of the puzzle of 1776 coming together.

Catch up on all the posts of the vlog by viewing my playlist on YouTube:

Boston THEATER Stories | Shows

About the Author

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Guest Blogger: James Beaman JAMES BEAMAN has played roles in nearly every stage genre, and is also an award winning cabaret artiste. He starred as Sir Robin in the First National Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot,” performing nearly 700 performances alongside stars such as Richard Chamberlain, Gary Beach and John O’Hurley. An avid blogger, James blogged his entire adventure on the Spamalot tour. He has created roles in two new musicals, The Road To Qatar! (Off-Broadway, Original Cast Album) and Frog Kiss. Recent credits include Max in The Sound of Music (North Shore Music Theatre, IRNE Award nomination) and Milt in Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Flat Rock Playhouse). James has also performed with Goodspeed Musicals, The Kennedy Center, Ogunquit Playhouse, Stages St. Louis, and numerous Shakespeare Festivals. His cabaret acts have been awarded the MAC and Bistro Awards. James is also a coach for performers in New York City. This summer, he will play the iconic leading role of John Adams in 1776 at Cape Playhouse, opposite Tony nominee Christiane Noll. He then goes to Orlando Shakespeare Theatre to play Thénardier in Les Misérables. James received his training at The Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy for Classical Acting, and at Boston University School for the Arts. Visit him at


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