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1776 (Encores!)

From 114 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

About the show

Encores! concert version of the Tony Award-winning musical about the birth of our nation features TV stars Santino Fontana and John Larroquette as founding fathers. More…

Before 'Hamilton' there was '1776,' a musical about how the founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and gave birth to a new nation. A show that presents John Adams (Santino Fontana), Thomas Jefferson (John Behlmann), and Benjamin Franklin (Tony winner John Larroquette) in all their fractious complexity, the Encores! concert will remind you of how far America has come—and how little we’ve changed.


Member Reviews (114)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant
85
Avg Score

75
Clever, Ambitious, Educational, Moving, Funny

See it if you love the smart, funny, engaging script/songs. Although quite long, it moves quickly. Mostly well-sung and acted. Not much staging.

Don't see it if you want a stellar production. Modern dress wrong for historical piece. Larroquette disappoints as Franklin, stepped on jokes and can't sing

80
Great acting, Great writing, Great music, Insightful, Relevant

See it if Great production. Incredible talent. Fontana is an outstanding lead and singer. Cudos to Larroquette too. Powerfully acted.

Don't see it if It's a (more than) concert version. Allows you to pay attention to the writing and the acting. For a musical there's long non-singing parts.

69
Educational, Historical, Slow, Great acting

See it if You enjoy history and politics. The talent is excellent and there are some nice musical numbers.

Don't see it if It's an informative piece so if you aren't a history buff your mind may wander during the dialog heavy scenes. Could benefit from more music

65
Great acting, Superficial, Inconsistent, Long, Relevant

See it if you're a big Santino Fontana or John Larroquette fan (they are terrific).

Don't see it if you prefer your musicals to have songs in them. (There is so much talking in this show.)

81
Great score, Great book, Entertaining, Profound

See it if you have a time machine. (I just saw the final performance.) But if there's ever a fully-staged revival, see it for the classic book & score

Don't see it if you need the sets, costumes, choreography, etc. to enjoy a musical.

77
Wooden musical, wonderful production

See it if /for strong performances by many of principals particularly Santino Fontana as John Adams, Christiane Noll as Abigail Adams; fine orchestra

Don't see it if /since not a very good musical: songs are pedestrian and jokes and gags are obvious; still inspiring in this ugly era of political gridlock

90
Great acting, Hilarious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you're into historic pieces with a modern twist. The actors in this production wear business suits, supporting the show's relevance today.

Don't see it if you don't like true stories that take creative liberties.

80
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if You are curious to see this show. The acting and singing are excellent. It's Interesting to compare it to Hamilton.

Don't see it if If you want a light fluffy musical. It has more talking and fewer songs than you'd expect. And of course a serious topic.

85
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You like history and want to see a great ensemble cast make us realize how times have not changed in over 200 years

Don't see it if You expect lots of songs

85
Vastly entertaining history lesson, Excellent cast, Resonant staging, Emotion packed, Santino fontana channels john adams

See it if you like your history sung with a full orchestra & excellent cast & direction

Don't see it if you don't like your musical theatre stripped to its essentials

82
Historical elegant modern dress well acted lovely music

See it if Terrific revival elegantly presented. Santino Fontana leads with a great voice. Alexander Gemignani scores with a devastating slavery song.

Don't see it if Nice music but not enough. Long stretches of dialogue. Politically relevant John-Michael Lyles steals Act I with his haunted soldier song.

69
Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if you don't mind sitting through a slooooooooow first act to get to a good second.

Don't see it if require lyrics promote the book and move the performance around. A few good songs but mostly trite

85
Clever, Delightful, Intelligent

See it if You loved history musicals, Hamilton, and want to see what came before, (and cannot get tickets to Hamilton!)

Don't see it if You loved Hamilton and cannot deal with something more low key!!

85
Great acting, Epic, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like American history, and want to see a masterful musical rendition of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Don't see it if Politics bores you, you want big flashy musical numbers and can't sit through twenty minutes of dialogue.

81
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Relevant

See it if you get a chance. I honestly didn't really know the show and, even with the limited staging, I really enjoyed it.

Don't see it if you don't like colorblind casting (though I think that's a hang-up you need to get over at this point).

90
Delightful, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if Fan of 1776 in any form.

Don't see it if Cannot sit for a lengthy musical.

98
Absorbing, Entertaining, Profound, Masterful, Must see

See it if You want to learn more about history, love musicals and want to be absorbed in a show.

Don't see it if You want a dancing musical with a lot of sunny songs.

79
Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Cliched

See it if u like issues & a tuneful score. A good "Encores!" show, tho wordy in 1st pt; jokes, C minus; some songs trumped up; Santino F: ++++.

Don't see it if It's gone now and unlikely to be brought to B'way.

75
Relevant, Great writing, Slow, Historical

See it if you are a history geek and can't score tickets to Hamilton. Great dialogue that is humorously apropos to today's political climate.

Don't see it if you want an uptempo show - the story unfolds at a molasses-like pace. (but the actor who sang "Molasses and Rum" nailed it - showstopper!)

72
Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow

See it if The voices are beautiful. The acting wonderful

Don't see it if It's very long and a bit dull especially if history doesn't interest you (I love history and even I found it a bit dull)

95
Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you want to see the OG singing founding fathers

Don't see it if you don't like book-in-hand concert stagings.

90
Entertaining

See it if you want to hear a classic score with its original orchestration.

Don't see it if you don't know all the characters and want costumes--the staging is so-so.

85
Absorbing, Delightful, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you like the show or any of the cast. It's a fantastic concert production with wonderful performances all around.

Don't see it if long stretches of dialogue bother you in musicals. It's a very talky musical, but I loved it.

90
Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Masterful, Must see

See it if if you love 1776. I never tire of this show and have seen it so many times. The book always works for me. Inspired casting.

Don't see it if you're going to complain about long book scenes. You like your 1776 in wigs and revolutionary war drag.

89
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if You like musicals based on history done in a more modern way, but not Hamilton

Don't see it if You want a tap dancing traditional Broadway style romp

Also I love the Encores series at City Center. Good or bad it doesn't reall... Read more Read less


March 31st, 2016
"'1776' can sometimes feel like C-Span set to music...Your instinct is to yell down the corridors of history, 'Pick up the pace, guys!' You may occasionally feel like shouting the same instructions at the cast members onstage...This cleanly mounted production begins with marvelous gusto...Mr. Fon...
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March 31st, 2016
"That Edwards’s songs are so secondary, and Stone’s book so good—certainly one of the best ever written for a musical—makes '1776' an unexpected choice for the Encores!...The sound from the orchestra is glorious and so is the production. Under Garry Hynes’s patient, probing, and emotionally vivid...
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March 31st, 2016
"While this current incarnation is not perfect, it nonetheless makes a compelling argument that the show would find receptive audiences for a commercial run...The book by Peter Stone is considered one of the finest in all of musical theater...Considering the show's considerable demands, the ensem...
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April 1st, 2016
"It’s witty, intricately plotted and surprisingly suspenseful. As John Adams and Ben Franklin, respectively, Santino Fontana and John Larroquette drive the show with the energy and chemistry of a comedy duo...Director Garry Hynes adds sly curveballs, like the casting of African-American Nikki Ren...
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