Honest 1776 Musical Review

by Sami

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1776 the Musical wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I still left at Intermission. Watch my 3-minute honest 1776 musical review:

Takeaways from My Honest 1776 the Musical Review

Let me answer a few quickfire questions about the tour of 1776 the Musical revival:

  1. Did I stay for the second act? NO
  2. Was I almost falling asleep? YES
  3. Were there any males in the cast? NO
  4. Is it the exact same music & score as the original musical? YES
  5. Is the cast super talented? YES

1776 the Musical NOT a Musical

I honestly think it’s a stretch to call 1776 a musical. With only 7 songs in the first act and six songs in the second, there wasn’t a lot of actual singing.

In fact, I clocked at a 45-minute stretch in Act 1 where no singing took place!

On top of that, the songs weren’t that great to begin with. The performers had great voices and personalities, but I don’t want to hear the songs ever again. And don’t even try to listen to the original Broadway cast from 1969. Not only is it predominantly male, I found it even more dull.

Non-Male Cast

Speaking of the performers, the 1776 touring cast does not feature any males. Every performer is either female, transgender or non-binary.

They mentioned each member of the cast listed their preferred pronouns in the Playbill next to their name. Interestingly enough, the large majority used “she/her”.

What surprised me was that they still used masculine pronouns in the show. Some may see that choice as a social or political statement, but no other choices or changes were made.

Acknowledgments Made by 1776 Before the Show

Even though the musical itself didn’t deviate from its original storyline, two things were addressed before the show began:

  1. Before the show began, a cast member came out to introduce herself as a member of an indigenous tribe. She also shared what tribes used to occupy the land of the theater and thanked them for their stewardship.
  2. A sign in the lobby advised the performance contains, among other things:
    – Stylized representations of racialized violence particularly related to enslavement
    – Sexually suggestive themes
    – Occasional strong language

I still don’t know why this show made a revival and why certain stylistic choices were made and others weren’t, but that’s not for me to decide. However, I do want to make sure you know what’s there so you can make an educated decision about whether or not it’s worth your time and money.

1776 in Nashville

TPAC provided me with tickets to see the show on its opening night in Nashville. This review is unsolicited and reflects my honest opinions.

1776 the Musical runs at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center from June 20-25, 2023.

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