Rob Ruggiero Will Direct Goodspeed's 1776

News   Rob Ruggiero Will Direct Goodspeed's 1776 Rob Ruggiero, the conceiver and director of the recent acclaimed William Finn revue Make Me a Song, in Hartford, CT, will stage the musical 1776 for Goodspeed Musicals in the fall.

The Sherman Edwards-Peter Stone show about the founding fathers and the weeks leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence will play the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, Sept. 28-Dec. 2.

Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) was originally mentioned to direct the patriotic potboiler musical, but a conflict arose in his schedule.

Ruggiero is associate artistic director of TheaterWorks, the Off-Broadway-style Equity troupe in Hartford. Commercial producers are planning to move TheaterWorks' Make Me a Song (with its cast intact) to an Off-Broadway venue in the spring.

"We're looking for a funky, downtown-style space that is very conducive to the Bill Finn style," Ruggiero previously told Playbill.com. "Not something slick or pretentious, but fun and raw and quirky. And a place that's not too big — in the 200-seat range."

Intimacy was a selling point for the piano-and-voice show that critics and audiences embraced in Hartford last fall. TheaterWorks seats 200. Ruggiero's credits include Falsettos and Elegies for Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, Take Me Out at TheaterWorks and regional productions of Urinetown and Ella, among many other works.

Visit www.goodspeed.org.