Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Little Theatre of Alexandria 1776

By • Jul 29th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of 1776 [MP3 4:21 2.0MB].

Little Theatre of Alexandria
Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria, VA
$18 – $21
Through August 23rd

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio Review of 1776, performed by the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. We saw the performance on Sunday afternoon, July 27, 2008.

Mike: 1776 is a musical with book by Peter Stone, music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards. It’s the musical story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence taking place in Philadelphia in the Summer of 1776.

Laura: I was really pleased with this production. I thought all of the men’s voices blended well together. They seemed very convinced of what they were singing about and the impact of starting a new nation. The orchestra was not overpowering so that the voices of the men and the women could always be heard throughout the show. I liked the rapport between them as well as the camaraderie and I had a very good time.

Mike: This was an enjoyable production. I had a good time even though I knew the ending. As the director, Frank D. Shutts II mentions in his director’s notes in the playbill: Even though you know how it is going to end, you still want to experience the drama of how it is all going to take place. I think they definitely accomplished that sense of drama, and the sense of how it is all going to work out. We were also introduced to a few people in American history that most people are not aware of.

Laura: One of the members of the Continental Congress was John Adams of Massachusetts, played by Mick Tinder. He had a great role. It was obvious that he cared bout getting this resolution passed so that America could be free and start a new nation. His monologues and his opening song when he looked like he was going to have an apoplexy because he was so put out by all the other members of the Continental Congress and their apparent wishy-washiness. It was a really fun performance that he did.

Mike: One of his cohorts was Benjamin Franklin, from Pennsylvania, played by Jim Carmalt. I think he gave a slightly different interpretation of Ben Franklin than most people are expecting. He was a womanizer, but also pragmatic as far as the strategy for how to get the Declaration of Independence through Congress.

Laura: There was a really powerful song sung in the Second Act. It was called “Molasses To Rum.” It was sung by a member of the Continental Congress from South Carolina, Edward Rutledge, played by Chris Gillespie. I felt that was a very moving and powerful song. He put a lot of heart and soul into it. The conviction he shared on his face. It was very moving as well as a message that made you think.

Mike: The author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, was played by Keith Miller. Miller had a whole range of emotions that he shared, from frustration to longing for his wife who he was leaving to visit when he got roped into being on the declaration writing committee. I enjoyed his performance. I liked the scenes when he was being distracted by his wife Martha, played by Liz Sabin.

Laura: The set for 1776 was well done. It was a fairly static set. There was a scrim that they would pull in front of the curtain once in a while for an outdoor scene. I liked the bright colors. Something else I liked was the lighting. The lighting, which was designed by Ken and Patti Crowley, was good because it set the mood for the show. When there was a serious moment the lights would be dimmed so that your attention was held to what was going on on stage. The set was designed by Myke Taister.

Mike: 1776 ran two hours and forty-five minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday August 23rd. Select Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sunday matinees at 3 pm at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the first show in The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s 75th season.

Laura: We’d like to invite you to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with community theatre happenings in the Northern Virginia region.

Mike: If you’ve seen the show, we’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Simply leave a comment here at

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • President, John Hancock: Rich Amada
  • New Hampshire, Dr. Josiah Bartlett: Marshall Smith
  • Massachusetts, John Adams: Mick Tinder
  • Rhode Island, Stephen Hopkins: J. Robert Powers
  • Connecticut, Roger Sherman: Marcus Fisk
  • New York, Lewis Morris: William D. Parker
  • New York, Robert Livingston: Christopher Guy Thorn
  • New Jersey, Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon: Peter Laager
  • Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin: Jim Carmalt
  • Pennsylvania, John Dickinson: Hans Detmar
  • Pennsylvania, James Wilson: Jay Sigler
  • Delaware, Caesar Rodney: David Benson
  • Delaware, Col. Thomas McKean: Cal Whitehurst
  • Delaware, George Read: B.C. May
  • Maryland, Samuel Chase: David Rampy
  • Virginia, Richard Henry Lee: Jon Keeling
  • Virginia, Thomas Jefferson: Keith Miller
  • North Carolina, Joseph Hewes: Neil Holloway
  • South Carolina, Edward Rutledge: Chris Gillespie
  • Georgia, Dr. Lyman Hall: John Shackelford
  • Secretary, Charles Thompson: Lars Klores
  • Custodian, Andrew McNair: Larry Grey
  • Abigail Adams: Andrea Klores
  • Martha Jefferson: Liz Sabin
  • A Leather Apron: Matt Grogan
  • A Courier: A.J. Pendola
    • Orchestra

      • Conductor: Christopher A. Tomasino
      • Violin: Kirby Lee, Steve Natrella
      • Cello: Virginia Gardener, Kevin Uleck
      • Bass: David Burrelli
      • Flute/Picolo: David Burrelli
      • Clarinet: Christopher A. Tomasino
      • Oboe/English Horn: Sean Delaney
      • Bassoon: Richard Sargent
      • Trumpet: Terry Bradley, Paul Weiss
      • Trombone: Chris Bradley, Scot Fridy, Bill Wright
      • Piano: David Howard Boyer
      • Percussion: Matt Hardy, Jim Hoffman, Dan Spadoni


      • Producers: Sharon Field, Rance Willis and Carolyn Winters
      • Director: Frank D. Shutts II
      • Assistant to the Director: Rae Edmonson
      • Musical Director: Christopher A. Tomasino
      • Choreographer: Grace Manly Machanic
      • Dance Captain: Christopher Guy Thorn
      • Stage Managers: Christina Idoni and Joan A.S. Lada
      • Assistant Stage Manger: Samantha Franklin
      • Set Design: Myke Taister
      • Assisted by: Stephanie Mertz, Ryan Pollock, Kevin Weckman
      • Set Construction: Chris Feldman
      • Assisted by: John Beahler, Sam Bunting, Gail Cafardi, Rashage Green, Sarah Hillenbrand, Han Hwang, Jerry Kearn, Bob king, Jen Koch, Bethany Marshall, Charles Martelli, Matt McConnell, Kristin Moe, Jeff Nesmeyer, Nin Peel, George Rhodes, Dan Remmers, Jack Schaeffer, Livel Soto, Sarah Stephens, Deborah Wilde, jenny Willis, Rance Willis, Jerry Wolfe
      • Set Painting: Elizabeth “Buffy” Mechling and Kevin O’Dowd
      • Assisted by: Leslie Reed
      • Set Decoration: Joe Reeder & Myke Taister
      • Assisted by Jean and Allen Stuhl
      • Properties: Heather Franklin & Margaret Evens-Joyce
      • Assisted by Betty Dolan, Sharon Dove, Bob Van Eimeren, Joanna Henry, Carol Hutchinson, Jayn Rife, Joanne Tompkins
      • Lighting Design: Ken and Patti Crowley
      • Master Electrician: Nancy Owens
      • Assisted by: Eileen Doherty, Elizabeth Herbst, Pam Leonowich, Paul Morton, Doug Olmsted, Elizabeth Owens, John Peterson, Liz Sabin, Bob Spivey, J.J. Stinson, Carrie Vernon
      • Orchestra Master Technician: David Correia, Alan Wray
      • Sound Design: David Hale
      • Assisted by: David Correia, Heather Franklin, Anna Hawkins, Jennifer Lyman, Bill Rinehaus, Kira Simon
      • Rigging: Russ Wyland
      • Assisted by: Eileen Dohertty
      • Costume Design: Jean Schlichting & Kit Sibley
      • Wardrobe: Barbara Helsing, and Margaret Snow
      • Assisted by: Jamie Blake, Mary Campbell, Sharon Dove, Rashage Green
      • Makeup/Hair and Wig Design: Howard Kurtz
      • Assisted by: Diane Avent, Pat Bradford, Joanna Henry, Bobbie Herbst, Maria Simpkins
      • Theatre Intern: Sarah Stevens
      • Auditions: Teri Fahsl, Barbara Helsing and Margaret Snow
      • Double Tech Dinner: Virginia Lacey
      • Assisted by: Michael Lacey, William Lacey
      • Opening Night Party: Ramparts Restaurant and Robert Kraus
      • Assisted by: Marcus Dunn
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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