Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve

When I was a kid, my Mom instilled in me a love of music through the soundtracks of classic musicals. I remember riding in the car with her and listening to cassettes of various shows as we both sang along, me taking the soprano parts and her the alto. Cats, The Mikado, The Music Man, and 1776 were among my favorites. Of course, looking back now I feel sorry for my brother, who was trapped in a car with the two of us constantly singing...but that's what happens when you are the only dude in a family of ladies.

The point of this reminiscing is that I was very excited when a friend sent me an email asking if I was interested in seeing a production of 1776 at Ford's Theater. For those who are unfamiliar, 1776 is a musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Continental Congress. The main character, future President John Adams, wheels and deals and by force of will alone manages to convince Congress to declare themselves independent from England. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are also along for the ride.

I don't think I can understate the importance the movie version of 1776 had on me as a kid. And yes, I realize confessing that makes me a GIANT NERD, but hey y'all already knew that. Basically, the movie got me interested in history and paved the way for a history major in college. And speaking of college, the whole reason I went to William and Mary was because of 1776 and the following exchange:

John Adams: Mr. Jefferson? It so happens that the word is UN-alienable, not IN-alienable. 
Thomas Jefferson: I'm sorry, Mr. Adams, but "Inalienable" is correct. 
John Adams: I happen to be a Harvard graduate, Mr. Jefferson. 
Thomas Jefferson: Well, I attended William & Mary. 

Oh, snap! Colonial style.

The point of this diatribe is that I have very strong feelings about 1776. And I am pleased to say that seeing it live was thrilling, fun, and amazing. We are very fortunate here in the DC-area to have amazing local theater companies. In fact, the only thing about the evening that wasn't perfect were the annoying 8th graders sitting in front of me and the fact that I find Ford's Theater kind of creepy.

And this is the famous Ford's theater and that box is where the greatest man in American history had his brains blown out. See? CREEPY.

If you haven't seen 1776 yet, I suggest you immediately go to Netflix and check it out. The more I learned about the actual history of the colonial era, the more I learned how weirdly accurate the movie is in terms of how all these men related to one another and were forced to compromise to lay the foundations for the country we have today.  You'll also come out of it with even more appreciation for Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and especially John Adams.

Oh, and it has Mr. Feeney (from Boy Meets World)! And Gwyneth Paltrow's Mom.


You can keep your Paul Giamatti and whatever other lame John Adams you want to throw at me. William Daniels is the one and only. Trust.

No comments: