Now that the Fourth of July festivities are long gone and Mel Gibson's "The Patriot," has slipped down to No. 8 at the box office (as of Aug.1), Connecticut's River Rep follow suit as they conclude their production of Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards' 1776. The patriotic musical opened July 18 at the Ivoryton Playhouse and will close Aug. 5.
The Tony Award winning musical tells the story of the personalities behind the Declaration of Independence. Evan Thompson directs this production, with book by Stone and music/lyrics by Edwards. Characters portrayed include Ben Franklin, John Hancock and John Adams. 1776 runs for a special three week engagement (instead of the usual two weeks).
Following this is an adaptation of Henry James’ novel, "The Heiress." Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s play is about a lonely heiress and the man she falls in love with, against her domineering father’s will. It runs from Aug. 8-19. An acclaimed Broadway revival some years back starred Cherry Jones and Philip Bosco.
This 14th summer season at River Rep concludes with the farcical melodrama The Mystery of Irma Vep. The show is a Victorian murder mystery, combined with contemporary satire and peppered with ghosts, goblins, and mummies. Written by Ridiculous Theatrical Company maestro Charles Ludlam, it runs Aug. 22-Sept. 3.
For tickets to shows at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Main Street in Ivoryton, call (860) 767-8348. For group rates, call (860) 545-7870. The theatre also has children’s shows every Friday at 11 AM. For more information, visit their website at www.riverrep.com. -- by Daniel Fischer
and Ernio Hernandez