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0001 - 1776 (1969)
Musique: Sherman Edwards
Paroles: Sherman Edwards
Livret: Peter Stone
Production originale:
9 versions mentionnées
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The story is based on the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It focuses on, and partly fictionalizes, the efforts of John Adams to persuade his colleagues to vote for American independence and to sign the document.

Genèse: In 1926, Rodgers and Hart had written the only previous musical about the American revolution, called Dearest Enemy. Sherman Edwards, a singer of pop-songs with several top ten hits in the late fifties and early sixties, spent several years developing lyrics and libretto for a musical based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Edwards recounted that, "I wanted to show [the founding fathers] at their outermost limits. These men were the cream of their colonies... They disagreed and fought with each other. But they understood commitment, and though they fought, they fought affirmatively." Producer Stuart Ostrow recommended that librettist Peter Stone collaborate with Edwards on the book of the musical. Stone recalled, "The minute you heard ["Sit Down, John"], you knew what the whole show was.... You knew immediately that John Adams and the others were not going to be treated as gods, or cardboard characters, chopping down cherry trees and flying kites with strings and keys on them. It had this very affectionate familiarity; it wasn't reverential." Adams, the outspoken delegate from Massachusetts, was chosen as the central character, and his quest to persuade all thirteen colonies to vote for independence became the central conflict. Stone confined nearly all of the action to Independence Hall and the debate among the delegates, featuring only two female characters, Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson, in the entire musical. After tryouts in New Haven and Washington, the show opened on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on March 16, 1969. Peter Hunt, previously known as a lighting designer, directed. Earning warm reviews, it ran for 1,217 performances. The production was nominated for five Tony Awards and won three, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical was made into a film of the same name in 1972 and was revived on Broadway in 1997.

Résumé: Ce musical s'intéresse aux luttes du Congrès Continental américain se déclarer indépendants de l'Angleterre et des lois oppressives du Roi George III. Les principaux meneurs de l'idée d'indépendance sont l"odieux et détesté" John Adams, Benjamin Franklin et Thomas Jefferson qui est désigné pour écrire la Déclaration d'Indépendance. Les forces qui s'y opposent, incluent les représentants des états esclavagistes, menés par Edward Rutledge qui refuse de s'engager à signer la Déclaration si elle prévoit explicitement une libèration des esclaves; et les conservateurs riches, menés par John Dickinson, qui ne veulent pas mettre leurs richesses en danger en défiant la mère patrie, l'Angleterre. Chaque colonie a envoyé trois représentants - et donc une majorité simple de deux représentants décidera du vote d'une colonie donnée - mais le vote réel pour indépendance doit être unanime pour se montrer unis face à l'Angleterre; autrement, le nouveau pays devant affronter des lurttes internes en même temps que le combat contre l'Angleterre, ne pourra que disparaître.

Création: 16/3/1969 - Richard Rodgers Theatre (Broadway) - 1217 représ.