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LTC to present '1776'

Political history perfect start for new season

SUBMITTED PHOTO: TRIUMPH PHOTOGRAPHY - Lakewood Theatre Company presents 1776, starring, from left: Darius Pierce, Mark Pierce, Dave Cole, Heath Koerschgen and Adam Elliott Davis. The musical opens Sept. 9 and continues through Oct. 16.

In a year encompassing a spicy presidential election and the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it seems apt for Lakewood Theatre Company to take on “1776.”

The Tony Award-winning musical focuses on how the founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and birthed a nation. Political maneuvering sits at the core of “1776;” accord seems as scarce as it is in Congress today. This show just might remind us how far the United States has progressed — and how little we’ve changed.

The story unfolds in Philadelphia in 1776, which is hot as Hades. There is a fiery disagreement when it comes to some revolutionary ideas: independence and democracy. Egos and agendas threaten to divide the Second Continental Congress. John Adams (Darius Pierce) of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin (Mark Pierce) of Pennsylvania and the delegates from Virginia, Richard Henry Lee (Matthew Hayward) and Thomas Jefferson (Adam Elliott Davis), fight to persuade their colleagues to vote for independence, and free this country from British rule by signing the Declaration of Independence.

The play makes the pages of history personal, as we see the characters behind the names and historical dates. This family-friendly show contains musical numbers including, “Cool, Cool Considerate Men,” “For God’s Sake, John Sit Down,” “Till Then,” “Molasses to Rum.”

Additional leading roles include Dru Rutledge as Abigail Adams, Kelly Lanzillo as Martha Jefferson, Dave Cole as Edward Rutledge and Heath Koerschgen as John Dickinson.

Others in the cast include Michel Castillo, Chuck Weed, Bobby Jackson, Jim Crino, Dennis Corwin, Jeremy Sloan, Brandon B. Weaver, William Shindler, Dana Bahr, Bill Bernsohn, Marc Berezin, Mike Borgstrom, Don Stewart Burns, Justin Canfield, Tom Henning, Sean Ryan Lamb, Jeremy Southard and Doug Zimmerman.

Performances begin Sept. 9 and continue through Oct. 16, laying Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; two Wednesday performances Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.; and select Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $37 for adults, $35 for seniors; purchase online at lakewood-center.org or call the box office at 503-635-3901. Lakewood Center for the Arts is located at 368 S. State St. in Lake Oswego.

— The Review, Tidings