Tony winner Frank Galati directs Asolo Rep's season opener '1776' in Sarasota

November 15, 2012 

The Asolo Repertory Theatre's season opener "1776" is a smart, musical comedy inspired by the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

While the founding fathers are often depicted as a unified group, at least beginning with our earliest elementary school lessons, "1776" shows the behind-the-scenes machinations were wrought with conflict and peril.

Frank Galati, most famous for his Tony Award-winning adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath," returns to Asolo Rep to direct "1776," which opens Friday and runs through Dec. 22.

The story finds John Adams (Bernie Yvon, who appeared on Broadway in "Ragtime" as Harry Houdini) teaming up with Benjamin Franklin (another Broadway veteran who played Doolittle in last season's Asolo Rep opener "My Fair Lady") to rally their doubtful peers.The original Broadway production of "1776" opened in 1969 and won several Tonys including Best Musical.

Details: Nov. 13-15 (previews), Nov. 16 (opening night) through Dec. 22; Mertz Theatre in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $26-$75 Information: 941-351-8000 or

The "1776" story including interviews with Galati and cast, that originally ran Sunday, can be read at:

-- Wade Tatangelo

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