Monday, July 04, 2005

Everything I Know About American Independence, I Learned From Watching "1776"

I had never seen the musical "1776" until I met Terry. He thought it was the Best Show Ever, because it was about history and stuff. I was not totally taken with it, and still am not. In my opinion, it has its good moments... and its long half hours. (I'm not exagerating. There is a 45 minute stretch with no music.) Martha Jefferson's song, "He Plays the Violin," is one of the most banal lyrics ever perpetrated on the Broadway stage, made even worse because it is the only female solo in the show. With only two female characters, one of whom only appears in daydreams, this is the distant opposite of a chick flick.

And yet - in spite of my resistance to it on a theatrical level, I kept picking up tidbits of information from it. For example, can you name all of the members of the Declaration committee? I can, and even tell you which colonies they represented. I know who proposed the resolution for independence, and why, and where he lived. When Terry and I saw the first quarter in the 50 States series, we both said, "Hey, look! It's Cesar Rodney!" Cesar Rodney of Delaware would have been just another dead guy to me if not for "1776".

So here's to you, "1776". We will be cranking up the CD and singing along with John, Ben, and the rest of the boys today, and remembering that even when we don't agree, we can still keep an eye on the goal and find a way to work together to achieve it.


Alex said...

Can't you make this into an article for next year's 4th issue?

Aser said...

Bernie took me to see "1776" not too long after we were married. In fact, I believe Alex was there, too, though she didn't take up her own seat. That must be why I fell asleep...