Monday, November 12, 2012

Asolo Rep's '1776' in Sarasota directed by Tony winner Frank Galati: interview

From left, Bernie Yvon as John Adams, Andrew Boyer as Ben Franklin, Brandon Dalhquist as Thomas Jefferson and Andrea Prestinario as Martha Jefferson in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of "1776." Photos by SCOTT BRAUN/PUBLICITY PHOTO

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Had the candidates been singing and dancing, election season would've been so much more entertaining.

Fortunately, our founding fathers can all carry a tune.

At least the ones who will be on stage in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's season opener "1776."

In light of all the partisan madness leading up to Election Day, there probably couldn't be a better time than now for a witty, patriotic comedy.

Aiming to please attendees of all political persuasions, the Sarasota company considered one of the best in the South presents a musical 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.

'1776' choreographer Peter Amster (left) and his partner Frank Galati at Asolo Rep media event. PHOTO BY WADE TATANGELO

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Frank Galati, most famous for his Tony Award-winning adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath (Best Play, Best Direction of a Play), directed last season's Asolo Rep opener "My Fair lady" and the season before helmed "Twelve

Angry Men" in Sarasota. Both productions were critically-acclaimed audience favorites.

He returns to Asolo Rep to direct "1776," which opens Friday and runs through Dec. 22.

"I think the musical presents a very vivid account of how dangerous the situation was in Philadelphia in 1776 and how the future of the nation and its birth was hanging by a thread," Galati said. "It's so fascinating how close they came to not doing it. If not for Abigail Adams, her husband might have lost heart."

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WATCH: Asolo Rep previews '1776' with performance in Sarasota 

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