Asolo Repertory Theatre previews season opener '1776' in Sarasota: video

wtatangelo@bradenton.comOctober 31, 2012 

SARASOTA -- The Asolo Repertory Theatre offered a rousing preview performance from its season opening musical "1776," a Broadway hit about the birth of our nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The action, short but sweet, took place Tuesday during a media event on the mezzanine of the Mertz Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota.

There were also speeches given by "1776" creatives including Tony Award-winner Frank Galati (director), Peter Amster (choreographer) and Michael Rice (music director).

"On stage, '1776' isn't a history lesson," Galati said, before promising "sophistication without irony, corn without camp and history without apology."

Michael Edwards, producing artistic director at Asolo Rep, served as master of ceremonies and introduced the entire cast of the show.

But the real excitement came when Bernie Yvon, the actor playing John Adams, started singing the musical's exuberant opening number "Sit Down, John." He as joined by the Congress members and live keyboard accompaniment (online readers can view the video below; or visit

Asolo Rep kicks off their five-season American Character Project with "1776." Previews start Nov. 13, opening night is Nov. 16 and closing night is Dec. 22. The show originally opened on Broadway in 1969 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Information: 941-351-8000 or

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow

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