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1776 at A.R.T.

Chaugman7
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1776 at A.R.T.#1
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:11am

May 17 - June 28.  Ticket sales are already impressive and it's still over 4 months away.   Ticket sales for preview performances started yesterday.  Sales for A.R.T. members for all performances have been ongoing for a while now.  While I am not a member,  I did notice that sales for all performances are available to those who simply have an A.R.T. account.  It's quick, free and easy to open an account online.  For those who are interested, this production will sell out early.

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GavestonPS
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1776 at A.R.T.#2
Posted: 1/18/20 at 2:32pm

For those on the West Coast, it appears the same production comes to the Ahmanson in LA after it closes in Boston.

Any speculation as to what Paulus plans to do with it? 1776 is pretty straight-forward.

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Valentina3
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1776 at A.R.T.#3
Posted: 1/18/20 at 3:27pm

GavestonPS said: "For those on the West Coast, it appears the same production comes to the Ahmanson in LA after it closes in Boston. Any speculation as to what Paulus plans to do with it? 1776 is pretty straight-forward."

1776 is very easy to make boring af because of really long book scenes and rather "high and mighty" songs/characters. I saw a recent gender-flipped concert staging which made me fall in love with the material. All other productions I had seen before made me roll my eyes, never understood the appeal of the show. I think trying it out in various places could be a good way to find what pacing/jokes are landing with today's audience. It's also a great way to generate buzz and attract investors.

Caption: Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.
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musikman
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1776 at A.R.T.#4
Posted: 1/18/20 at 3:50pm

Valentina3 said: "GavestonPS said: "For those on the West Coast, it appears the same production comes to the Ahmanson in LA after it closes in Boston. Any speculation as to what Paulus plans to do with it? 1776 is pretty straight-forward."

1776 is very easy to make boring af because of really long book scenes and rather "high and mighty" songs/characters. I saw a recent gender-flipped concert staging which made me fall in love with the material. All other productions I had seen before made me roll my eyes, never understood the appeal of the show.I think trying it out in various places could be a good way to find what pacing/jokes are landing with today's audience. It's also a great way to generate buzz and attract investors.
"

Ive always thought of 1776 as more of a play with music than a musical to me.  The book is so strong that you could take out the music and still have a cohesive piece of theatre. It just so happens that - IMO- the score is also incredibly strong.  I’ll admit that in lesser hands, some of the lengthy book passages may become tedious, but the show is firecrackers when done correctly.  When I speak to people who saw the original, the words they continually use to describe it were thrilling, suspenseful, moving, and just plain fun.

 

Have you seen the movie version? It obviously can never compare to the stage version, but I adore it and think it’s one of the strongest stage—>movie adaptations that we have.  It retains most of the original broadway cast, most importantly, William Daniels. I watch it every year around July 4th and never get tired of it. 
 

Paulus is very hit (Pippin) or miss (Porgy & Bess) with me, so I’m interested to see her take but slightly cautious.  

-There's the muddle in the middle. There's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle."
trpguyy
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1776 at A.R.T.#5
Posted: 1/18/20 at 4:32pm
It is an all-female production, for those wondering what the gimmick will be.
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musikman
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1776 at A.R.T.#6
Posted: 1/18/20 at 4:40pm

trpguyy said: "It is an all-female production, for those wondering what the gimmick will be. "


Are they gender-swapping the actual female roles as well, or is it completely, 100% females in the cast?

-There's the muddle in the middle. There's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle."
trpguyy
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1776 at A.R.T.#7
Posted: 1/18/20 at 4:43pm
My understanding is that it’s all-female.
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Valentina3
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1776 at A.R.T.#8
Posted: 1/18/20 at 4:49pm

musikman said: "Have you seen the movie version? It obviously can never compare to the stage version, but I adore it and think it’s one of the strongest stage—>movie adaptations that we have. It retains most of the original broadway cast,most importantly, William Daniels. I watch it every year around July 4th and never get tired of it."

I have seen the movie version and not gonna lie - I fell asleep twice trying to watch it. It was really boring to me. I wasn't really into American history at the time so maybe I'm being harsh, but I think it was the movie's responsibility to make me interested (which it didn't - plenty of other shows including Hamilton did it eventually).

I do agree that 1776 is an awesome show when done well. The concert version I saw was all of things you described - thrilling, exciting, fast-paced. Flipping genders really makes the show much more palatable to my sensibilities. White men saying those lines seems like a whole of bloviating to me. Women saying those lines are sharp and ironic and hilarious.

Caption: Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.
Updated On: 1/18/20 at 04:49 PM
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George in DC
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1776 at A.R.T.#9
Posted: 1/18/20 at 5:29pm

trpguyy said: "My understanding is that it’s all-female."

 

I was kind of looking forward to this. Thanks for the warning. I'll pass.

 

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1776 at A.R.T.#10
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:15pm
One of my absolute favorite musicals....but I've only ever seen the film, my 19 year old son's fav too.

I wonder if some of the songs will resonate the same way with female voices, were keeping an open mind. We cant wait.

Heard a rumor that the all female thing didn't happen....but cant say I'm confident in that source.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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1776 at A.R.T.#11
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:36pm

Looking forward to this. 

I never cared much for this show's score when I first listened to it, and I didn't realize how much I liked it until I saw it live for the first time. ACT in San Francisco did the show a few years back, and it was really delightful. An excellent production that showed how strong the material is when it's done right. 

I think the long book scenes are partly what make this show so strong. I love when musicals allow their dialogue scenes some room to breathe, so that when the characters begin to sing, it feels all the more earned. 

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1776 at A.R.T.#12
Posted: 1/18/20 at 11:55pm

JBroadway said: "Looking forward to this.

I think the long book scenes are partly what make this show so strong. I love whenmusicals allow theirdialogue scenes some room to breathe, so that when the characters begin to sing, it feels all the more earned."

Perfectly put. 

Papermill did a very strong production about 10 years ago. James Barbour's 'Molasses To Rum' is still in my brain.

I hope the all-female version does not come to pass. Otherwise, I'll take a hard pass.

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The Distinctive Baritone
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1776 at A.R.T.#13
Posted: 1/19/20 at 12:06am
I’m doing a “coed” version at my high school next year. Doing it “all female” is a bit heavy handed I think, but now seems like the best time to do it that way due to, well, politics. It would be a hot ticket on Broadway, especially with a few celebs in the cast.
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1776 at A.R.T.#14
Posted: 1/19/20 at 11:59am

Valentina3 said: I have seen the movie version and not gonna lie - I fell asleep twice trying to watch it. It was really boring to me. I wasn't really into American history at the time so maybe I'm being harsh, but I think it was the movie's responsibility to make me interested (which it didn't - plenty of other shows including Hamilton did it eventually).
 

It's important to know which version of the movie you're seeing. The original theatrical release is a mess, because then-President Nixon didn't like parts of it that showed conservatives in a bad light.  For example, Nixon didn't like "Cool Cool Considerate Men" so Jack Warner (a friend of Nixon's) had it cut completely from the film.  When it was released on DVD, the director put it back together the way it was supposed to be seen, and it's much better.  The DVD also had a director's commentary track where he talked about the whole fiasco.

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1776 at A.R.T.#15
Posted: 1/19/20 at 11:35pm

I saw the original run on Broadway (though John Cullum had taken over Routledge, which got no complaint from me) and I saw it starring Roger Rees at Reprise LA about 20 years ago.

I don't remember finding either version boring at any point. Certainly in 1971 it was novel to see the Founding Fathers portrayed as human beings instead of mythical creatures.

I have no idea what would be the point of an all-female production. Unfortunately, my tix were a gift from a friend and I don't see how to avoid driving 3-4 hours into LA for it...

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1776 at A.R.T.#16
Posted: 1/20/20 at 6:01am
Well, holding off judgement would be a start. Maybe it will be wonderful.

Maybe not.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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1776 at A.R.T.#17
Posted: 1/20/20 at 11:21am
I have a seat for 5/24 @2pm for sale. E15. $45. PM me.
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1776 at A.R.T.#18
Posted: 1/20/20 at 12:54pm

Count me among those who love 1776 as is, and don't really consider it in need of a radical re-imagining. I've loved it ever since we watched the movie in fifth grade. Our teacher was a history buff who imbued in our class a huge appreciation for American history. I learned more about the Revolutionary and Civil Wars in that class than I did in subsequent history classes in middle, high school, and college. Seeing the Founding Fathers portrayed with humor, wit (sometimes using their actual words), and humanity was great, and I loved the songs.

I agree that Paulus is very hit or miss. Her track record with revivals seems a bit better than with new works. Hair and especially Pippin were among my favorite experiences in a Broadway theatre. Finding Neverland was boring, though Porgy and Bess was extremely underwhelming compared to the full operatic version. (I'm looking forward to the broadcast of the Met's production, which I didn't get to see. I loved the SFO's production that aired a few years ago.)

Having seen a few clips of all-female or mostly-female casts on Youtube, my main concern is that this music just doesn't really work with female voices. The harmonies and melodies were written specifically with male registers in mind, and it loses something when you don't have a booming baritone singing "The Lees of Old Virginia" or "Molasses to Rum." I can imagine the latter being sung by a black woman, however, to bring out an interesting subtext, but I feel I'd still miss John Cullum's terrifying take in the film. The harmonies between John and Abigail on their duets would also lose something, as would the refreshing quality of Martha's "He Plays the Violin" in a male-heavy show. I wouldn't mind colorblind casting like the Encores concert (Nikki Renee Daniels was my favorite thing about that concert).

Paulus is an intelligent director, though, and I'm curious to see what she does.

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1776 at A.R.T.#19
Posted: 1/20/20 at 4:18pm

Chaugman7 said: "May 17 - June 28. Ticket sales are already impressive and it's still over 4 months away. Ticket sales for preview performances started yesterday. Sales for A.R.T. members for all performances have been ongoing for a while now. While I am not a member, I did notice that sales for all performances are available to those who simply have an A.R.T. account. It's quick, free and easy to open an account online. For those who are interested, this production will sell out early."

You might have hit a glitch in the system which they have since corrected -I am not a member but have an account and I am unable to access tickets for any performances other than previews.  Access to non-preview performances for general public seems to still require waiting until March 26, at least that is my experience with the site.

Chaugman7
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1776 at A.R.T.#20
Posted: 1/20/20 at 4:45pm

I have been informed by others that I must have hit a glitch, but I can still purchase tickets beyond the preview period.  When going to order tickets, there is a small, black rectangular box at the top right of the page with 4 icons in it.  I click onto the icon that is a silhouette of a person's head and it links me to the page where I can login to my A.R.T. account.    I can proceed to order beyond the preview period from there. 

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1776 at A.R.T.#21
Posted: 1/20/20 at 10:25pm

dramamama611 said: "Well, holding off judgement would be a start. Maybe it will be wonderful.

Maybe not.
"

Easier said than done. It's not like this is a 20-minute trip on the T for us! I have a 120-mile drive in L.A. rush-hour traffic to see what Paulus has wrought. And it's not as if I've never seen an all-female version of a classic: frankly--and as Brecht predicted--I quickly forgot women were playing male roles in one excellent MACBETH.

I think your question about how the score will sound when sung by women is an apt one.

Unlike COMPANY and PIPPIN and many other musicals, 1776 is so representational, I have trouble imagining the benefit of toying with it.

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1776 at A.R.T.#22
Posted: 1/21/20 at 8:30pm

The producers are hoping for quite a few additional stops in addition to LA on the way from Boston to Broadway. I am willing to bet that some NY critics will see this show as a gimmick, trying to repeat the success of Hamilton or the new (female Bobbie) company revival. This show will do well on the road, at least in blue states.

"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"
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1776 at A.R.T.#23
Posted: 1/21/20 at 8:38pm

amaklo said: "Valentina3 said: I have seen the movie version and not gonna lie - I fell asleep twice trying to watch it. It was really boring to me. I wasn't really into American history at the time so maybe I'm being harsh, but I think it was the movie's responsibility to make me interested (which it didn't - plenty of other shows including Hamilton did it eventually).


It's important to know which version of the movie you're seeing. The original theatrical release is a mess, because then-President Nixon didn't like parts of it that showed conservatives in a bad light. For example, Nixon didn't like "Cool Cool Considerate Men" so Jack Warner (a friend of Nixon's) had it cut completely from the film. When it was released on DVD, the director put it back together the way it was supposed to be seen, and it's much better. The DVD also had a director's commentary track where he talked about the whole fiasco.
"

I saw the DVD version. It didn't work for me. The pacing was slow, the characters were very very dated/stale for my taste. But like I said - I'm willing to try it again after having seen the stage show.

For folks who've not seen a gender-flipped version of the play - trust me, it worked really well. "Remember the women, John" hits you like a gutpunch.

Caption: Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.
Ceej
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1776 at A.R.T.#24
Posted: 1/22/20 at 11:07am

Houston's Theatre Under the Stars just announced that they will be hosting this show pre-Broadway in September. Can't wait.

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1776 at A.R.T.#25
Posted: 1/22/20 at 11:29am

Valentina3 said: "I saw the DVD version. It didn't work for me. The pacing was slow, the characters were very very dated/stale for my taste. But like I said - I'm willing to try it again after having seen the stage show.

The characters were "very very dated"?  It takes place in 1776 -- what exactly were you expecting??

Shakespeare, Chekhov, Moliere, etc must REALLY send you over the edge!  LOL