Geoff Packard of the recent Candide (Goodman Theatre and DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company) will play the title role in what Ford's bills as a "whimsical take on American history" that "follows an imaginary founding father, Liberty Smith, on an ambitious quest to free the Colonies in hopes of winning a young girl's heart."
The musical — previously seen in developmental presentations in New York City — is based on an original story by Marc Madnick and Eric R. Cohen, with music by Michael Weiner, lyrics by Adam Abraham and book by Madnick, Cohen and Abraham.
Matt August will direct a cast that includes Kelly Karbacz as Betsy Ross' niece Emily Andrews, Gregory Maheu as George Washington, Christopher Bloch as Benjamin Franklin, Donna Migliaccio as Betsy Ross and Richard Pelzman as Paul Revere, plus Matthew A. Anderson, Michael Bunce, Drew Eshelman, James Konicek, Gia Mora, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Thomas Adrian Simpson, Bobby Smith, Lauren Williams and Harry A. Winter.
Denis Jones (Huntington's She Loves Me, Jerry Mitchell's associate on many projects) will choreograph.
Here's how Ford's Theatre characterizes Liberty Smith: "A childhood friend of George Washington, apprentice to Benjamin Franklin and linked to Paul Revere's remarkable ride, the elusive Liberty Smith weaves his way through familiar tales of a young nation. Rife with melody and blazing with adventure, Liberty Smith recalls the lush heyday of the American musical. Experience the birth of America through the eyes of our 'forgotten' founding father: Liberty Smith." Paul R. Tetreault, director of Ford's Theatre, said in a statement, "Liberty Smith is easily one of the largest productions Ford's has produced — with 23 musical numbers, an ensemble cast of 20, and an epic story that transports audiences from Washington's infamous cherry tree incident to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Director Matt August and the show's creators have worked diligently through workshops and staged readings to develop Liberty Smith for the Ford's Theatre stage, and we are thrilled to at last present their colorful, dynamic and imagination-filled story this spring in Washington."