My day started at Starbucks where I finally got to meet alligatorandme after years of knowing her online. I also got to meet shawk that afternoon as well. They were both funny, intelligent, and basically wonderful to hang out with which was really nice.
I also met Sherri that evening, a co-worker/friend who I've known and spoken with on the phone for years, but finally never met until last night. :) It was wonderful to hang out with her and talk about our crazy company and the people we knew in common. We had a fabulous time and I gave her the goodie basket that everyone from my office put together of Hawaii things for her. She's much the same as I envisioned her from talking with her on phone all these years and I just adore her!!
The show itself was great. I'd seen 1776 five times in LA back in 2001 with an INCREDIBLE cast which makes it a bit hard for me to see other actors in the role. Just a bit about some of the cast:
- Conrad John Schuck was a great Benjamin Franklin and really delivered his lines with the humor and the likability that the role demands - though I still loved Orson Bean in the role the first time I'd seen it... Orson was a much more "fatherly" Franklin, while Mr. Schuck gave me a bit more of a feel of a "playful" Franklin.
James Barbour sounded nice as Rutledge, but his ultra slow delivery of dialog had me gritting my teeth. I'd seen James in so many roles in the past from Ghost and Mrs. Muir to Lizard to Camelot and he seems to approach all his characters in quite the same way. His "Molasses to Rum" was strong and powerful and he even hit his cane so hard in the evening show that it broke in two, but I still couldn't help but compare his performance to Kevin's. And I'm sorry,... Kevin had much more anger, more intensity, and commanded the moment much more and to me, there will be no better Rutledge.
I really enjoyed James Brennan as John Adams. I'd previously seen Roger Rees in the role and though he was funny, he was somewhat mis-cast. What I really liked about James' performance was his the emotion he expressed in "Is Anybody There?" I actually began tearing during the song, which should say something...
Matthew Ashford was a funny Jefferson - his "writing the declaration" scene was hysterical, but I felt that Matthew played Jefferson a bit too bold for my taste. I'd originally seen Thomas Ian Griffith (what is it about all these former soap actors playing this role?) :) in the role and he played a more quiet, strong and silent Jefferson - which seemed to fit a bit better with the characterization I have in my mind of Jefferson. Don't get me wrong, I loved Matthew, but Thomas Ian Griffith is really hard to beat.
Of course Bets was wonderful, as always. She has and always will be the ultimate Martha Jefferson for me - having seen her in the role 7 times (so far...) :) She's only in about 12 minutes of the show (and yes, five of those are spent kissing Matthew Ashford) but she really does make an impression. :)
Finally, one of my favorite characters that is usually overlooked, but I think is really the key to any successful 1776... Thomson! Stephen Crandall was much younger than I'm used to seeing (not that he wasn't very nice to look at) but he did a great job with the role. Maybe I'm putting too much importance on this - but he didn't deliver the last dispatch as emotionally as I would've liked. I ALWAYS cry like a baby during the delivery of "what brave men I will lose..." and I always feel that the one line sets up the emotional intensity of the next scene (which is all the men signing the declaration.) So because of it, I always like it to be delivered in a little more emotional way... But I'm very picky about my Thomson...
The show itself was staged in an interesting way because it was being performed in the round. Liked that they had McNair tear off the dates and TURN it when he did so the people sitting on my side of the theatre could actually see the dates being torn. Interesting that they had John and Abigail actually touch each other during "Compliments" - it seemed to give John more of a sense of longing - which added nicely to the show and the moment.
All in all, a great production and I'm glad I saw it! I have one more viewing of the show tonight and then my 1776 weekend is done! I felt really bad, though but by the end of the night I was trying my hardest to fight off one of the worst headaches in the world and could barely focus on the ending of Act 2 that evening. I do think my headache hampered my enjoyment of the evening performance somewhat and though I cried my way through the second act at the matinee, I didn't cry at all during the evening performance... My headache was so bad that it even cut my evening with Sherri short - which was sad. :(
Got to spend lots of time with Bets, which is always SO lovely. She's really one of the warmest, sweetest people around and I feel so fortunate to know her. Ate some YUMMY sushi with some lovely company, which was very nice! And got to take some great photos (which I will post a little later) :) What more could I ask for of the day? :)
I'm taking it easy today in the hotel - trying to get rid of my headache (which I still have!) and then I see the final performance of the show this evening. Should be a lovely end to a lovely weekend... Hope you're all having a nice weekend! I'm off in search of some food around my hotel!