Ford's Theatre's 1776, With Robert Cuccioli, Brooks Ashmanskas, William Diggle, Begins March 9
By Kenneth Jones
Tony Award nominee Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me) is the "obnoxious and disliked" John Adams opposite fellow Continental Congressman — and Tony nominee — Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) as conservative John Dickinson in the new Ford's Theatre revival of the musical 1776 in Washington, DC. Performances begin March 9.
The 1969 Tony Award-winning show by librettist Peter Stone and composer-lyricist (and conceiver) Sherman Edwards plots the weeks leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Peter Flynn directs the production, to play the history-touched venue to May 19.
The music direction is by Jay Crowder. The choreographer is Michael Bobbitt.
According to Ford's Theatre, "With quick-witted dialogue and a playful score, 1776 dramatizes the impassioned debates of Philadelphia's Second Continental Congress. As George Washington sends updates from the military front, patriots John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson attempt to persuade the 13 colonies to separate from British rule. Motivated by a series of abuses from King George, America's first politicians forge a new democracy by composing the Declaration of Independence. Based on the letters and memoirs of America's founding fathers, this classic, Tony Award-winning musical showcases the principles, pride and determination that influenced the birth of our nation."
The cast — a mix of New York actors and the cream of DC's resident acting pool — includes Patrick A'Hearn as Joseph Hewes, Matthew A. Anderson as Lewis Morris, Christopher Bloch as Benjamin Franklin, Peter Boyer as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Michael Bunce as Samuel Chase, Steven Carpenter as Dr. Lyman Hall, William Diggle as Thomas Jefferson, Drew Eshelman as Andrew McNair, Kate Fisher as Abigail Adams, Floyd King as Stephen Hopkins, James Konicek as John Hancock, Erin Kruse as Martha Jefferson, Sam Ludwig as Courier, Dan Manning as Robert Livingston, Gregory Maheu as Edward Rutledge, Buzz Mauro as Caesar Rodney, Rick Hammerly as Roger Sherman, Richard Pelzman as Colonel Thomas McKean, Stephen F. Schmidt as Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Adrian Simpson as Reverend John Witherspoon, Matthew John Kacergis as Leather Apron, Chris Sizemore as George Read, Bobby Smith as James Wilson, Tom Story as Charles Thomson and understudies Carolyn Agan and Evan Hoffmann.
The creative team includes scenic designer Tony Cisek, costume designer Wade Laboissonniere, lighting designer Nancy Schertler, sound designer David Budries, wig and make-up designer Cookie Jordan, production stage manager Craig A. Horness and assistant stage manager Taryn Friend.
For more information, visit Fordstheatre.org.
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