Songs From The Musicals
BROADWAY • WEST END • OFF-BROADWAY
1776
OVERVIEW: WHAT'S THE SHOW ABOUT?
  • Authors Music & Lyrics
    SHERMAN EDWARDS

    Book
    PETER STONE
  • Description It is the oppressively hot and humid summer of 1776 in Philadelphia, and the Continental Congress is growing weary of the heat, and of the eternal bickering which marks its deliberations. Boston firebrand John Adams, assisted by his good friends Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, must persuade their wavering colleagues that the time has come to Declare for Independence, and found a new nation.
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  • Premieres ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION 46th Street Theatre
    March 16, 1969 BROADWAY REVIVAL 1997 Criterion Center Stage Right
    August 14, 1997
PRODUCTIONS: WHERE HAS IT PLAYED?
  • ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION
    46th Street Theatre - March 16, 1969
    CREATIVE TEAM
    Producer : STUART OSTROW
    Direction : PETER HUNT
    Choreography : ONNA WHITE
    Orchestrations : EDDIE SAUTER
    Musical Director : PETER HOWARD
    Scenic Design : JO MIELZINER
    Costume Design : BY PATRICIA ZIPPRODT
    Lighting Design : JO MIELZINER
    CAST
    John Adams : WILLIAM DANIELS
    Benjamin Franklin : HOWARD DA SILVA
    John Dickinson : PAUL HECHT
    Edward Rutledge : CLIFFORD DAVID
    Abigail Adams : VIRGINIA VESTOFF
    Richard Henry Lee : RONALD HOLTGATE
    John Hancock : DAVID FORD
    Thomas Jefferson : KEN HOWARD
    Martha Jefferson : BETTY BUCKLEY
    Stephen Hopkins : ROY POOLE
    BROADWAY REVIVAL 1997
    Criterion Center Stage Right - August 14, 1997
    CREATIVE TEAM
    Producer : THE ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY
    Direction : SCOTT ELLIS
    Choreography : KATHLEEN MARSHALL
    Orchestrations : BRIAN BESTERMAN
    Musical Director : PAUL GEMIGNANI
    Scenic Design : TONY WALTON
    Costume Design : WILLIAM IVEY LONG
    Lighting Design : BRIAN NASON
    Sound Design : BRIAN RONAN
    CAST
    John Adams : BRENT SPINER
    Benjamin Franklin : PAT HINGLE
    John Dickinson : MICHAEL CUMPSTY
    Edward Rutledge : GREGG EDELMAN
    Abigail Adams : LINDA EMOND
    Richard Henry Lee : MERWIN FOARD
    John Hancock : RICHARD POE
    Thomas Jefferson : PAUL MICHAEL VALLEY
    Martha Jefferson : LAUREN WARD
    Stephen Hopkins : TOM ALDREDGE
  • playbill playbill-photo playbillcom
SYNOPSIS: WHAT'S THE STORY?
  • ACT ONE

    1776 is the Broadway version of the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    Representatives of the original thirteen colonies have gathered in the swealtering heat of a Philadelphia summer as the 2nd Continental Congress convenes. Internally divided over the question of American Independence, the men have grown tired of listening to John Adams' repeated pleas to conform (Sit Down, John). In fact, Adams himself had grown weary of the delegates' inability to agree on ANYTHING, let alone as issue as important as Independence (Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve). Adams laments his situation and vents his frustrations to his wife, Abigail, through letters and imagined conversations (Till Then and Yours, Yours, Yours).

    Adams and Ben Franklin ultimately decide that, since Adams' is so resoundingly regarded as "obnoxious and disliked", the only way to get a resolution on independence introduced to Congress is to persuade another delgate to make the proposal. For that, they call upon Virginia braggard Richard Henry Lee (The Lees of Old Virginia).

    Lee returns from Virgina with the proposal, opening up the issue to heated debate. Adams locks horns with Pennsylvania proprietor John Dickinson, who is staunchly opposed to independence. After much battle, the proposal gets put up for vote, but not before Dickinson insures that the vote must be unanimous. As a staling tactic (to give themselves time to sway votes their way), Adams and Franklin suggest the writing of a "declaration", spelling out "their goals and aims" and "reasons for separation".

    But who best to write it? Adams declines, knowing that anything he writes will be thoroughly ripped apart by his many detractors. Similarly, the other members of the Declaration Committee (Franklin, Roger Sherman of CT and Robert Livingston of NY) avoid the chore in favor of the popular and well written Thomas Jefferson (But Mr. Adams).

    Jefferson, however, is unable to concentrate drafting the document because he is pining for the young bride he left behind in Virginia 6 months earlier. Adams calls for Martha Jefferson to come to Philadelphia, theorizing that "the sooner HIS problem is solved, the sooner OUR problem will be solved." When Adams and Franklin finally meet Martha, they are enthralled by her charm and beauty as she extolls the virtues of her talented husband (He Plays The Violin).

    Dickinson, meanwhile, tries to keep the opposition to Adams in tact (Cool, Cool Considerate Men) as General George Washinton's courier repeatedly brings discouraging dispatches from the battlefront (Momma, Look Sharp).


    ACT TWO

    The Declaration finally written, Adams and Franklin convince Jefferson of the genius and strength of his words (The Egg), but are quickly disheartened to see Congress pick the document apart with a fine tooth comb. Jefferson acquiesces to smaller, insignificant criticisms of the Declaration, but stands his ground when the abolition of slavery is vehemently challenged by South Carolina's Edward Rutledge (Molasses To Rum).

    With half of the Congress walking out with Rutledge, Adams' dreams of independence appear to be over (Is Anybody There?). One by one, however, individual delegates begin to come around to Adams' side. In a major concession, Jefferson begrudgingly agrees to remove the slavery clause in order to win back the two Carolinas. A split Delaware vote goes back in favor of Adams when a dying Caesar Rodney is brought to Philadelphia from his death bed.

    Pennsylvania becomes the last stumbling block for Adams. While Franklin is clearly on his side, Dickinson is clearly not. The other Pennsylvania delegate, the spineless James Wilson, has long deffered to Dickinson. But when the final vote takes place, and it is Wilson's vote that will make Independence either live or die, Wilson swings his vote with Franklin in order to "remain one of many" rather than "be remembered as the man who prevented American Independence".

    The declaration is finally ratified, as the closing scene becomes the famous tableau of the delegates signing while the Liberty Bell clangs stirringly over head.
  • 1776
    Brent Spiner and Pat Hingle in the 1997 Broadway revival.
SONG NUMBERS: WHAT SHOWTUNES ARE IN THIS MUSICAL?
  • ACT ONE


    Sit Down, John John Adams and the Company

    Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve Adams

    Till Then John and Abigail Adams

    The Lees of Old Virginia Lee, Franklin and Adams

    But Mr. Adams Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Sherman and Livingston

    Yours, Yours, Yours John and Abigail Adams

    He Plays the Violin Martha Jefferson, Franklin and Adams

    Cool, Cool, Considerate Men Dickinson and The Conservatives

    Momma Look Sharp Courier, McNair and Leather Apron



    ACT TWO


    The Egg Franklin, Adams and Jefferson

    Molasses to Rum Rutledge

    Compliments Abigail

    Is Anybody There? Adams
  • Lyrics/Libretto
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    Lyrics and/or libretto is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

    File Contents : Lyrics only
    File Size : 364.2 KB

    By clicking the download button, you agree to use the downloaded file for personal use only.

MULTIMEDIA: WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THIS SHOW?
  • IMAGES
    VIDEO
    MUSIC
  • PHOTOS
    1997 Broadway Revival
    17761.jpg
    17762.jpg
    17763.jpg
    POSTERS
    showLogo1.jpg
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    showLogo3.jpg
    VIDEO
    video
    The 1997 Broadway revival cast in a performance of 'Sit Down, John' at the Tony Awards.
    MUSIC
    music

    Sit Down, John1997 Broadway Cast Recording

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Comments

7 months ago
One of the all time best!!!
11 months ago
love
1 year ago
got to play Edward Rutledge in this amazing show! What a great way to showcase history!
4 years ago
I love that song SIT DOWN JOHN! ONe of my faovrite songs..although don't care too much of the name calling..if u catch my drift but how can u notlike this song? I have never seen the musical although there is a movie and I could see if i wanted too. Who knows maybe someday..My big brother was a part of this when he was at college. Only one that I recall of him doing.