Author: Raymond

The Boston Tea Party’s “1776” is a political battle

The Boston Tea Party’s “1776” is a political battle

For Broadway’s ‘1776’ Revival, the Drama Is Offstage

As “1776,” the Broadway show featuring Benjamin Walker and Christopher Fitzgerald about the Boston Tea Party, nears its six-month run, critics are savoring the way “the whole ensemble, from the audience up to the actors,” in the words of the New York Times critic Kenneth Tynan, “becomes part of the play’s great emotional and political battle.”

“1776” is set entirely on the stage, for what are billed as the largest sets and the largest cast in Broadway history. So far, so good: The production cost $16 million to install and was built in 12 months. The cast includes a who’s who from Broadway (Kevin Kline, Tom Hollander, Ben Daniels, Jane Krakowski). It was hailed as one of the best things to ever happen to the theater.

By comparison, this show is about politics. In essence, it is a debate over the right to be an American.

The first-night audience for “1776” on Friday, Feb. 19, was a little bit less than 200; by curtain time, the house was closer to 1000. To say that the political debate — a dispute over the nature of America itself — is at the heart of this show would be an understatement.

In the cast are Michael Stuhlbarg as the Massachusetts governor Daniel Shays and Christopher Durkin as a tea-party activist (we’ll say activist because that’s what they have). This is the cast’s fifth play on Broadway.

It’s clear that there is a great deal at stake in this production, from the stage set of the Boston Tea Party rally to the audience in the Boston Tea Party. The show is being directed by Sam Gold and features the talents of the two theater directors who brought the play to life: Michael Greif and Peter Stone.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t note that not every

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