Saturday, June 25, 2016

And, To End June For TRH On A Positive Note ...

... and, since I'm going to a conference on historic theaters, I'm happy to share this with all of you.

What an amazing place the Richard Rodgers Theater (formerly the 46th Street Theater) must be!  To have become the home of not one, but two hit musicals about American history!  In the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, "1776" made its original Broadway run there.  Happily, not long after it closed, a film version of the musical was made with many members of the original Broadway cast, thus giving us a record of the show that has kept its greatness, and its insights into our history, alive and well many decades later.

Today, even as I write this, the now-Rodgers Theater is once again the home of a hit musical about our history, in a way that allows its story to overlap with the one told by "1776" about the Declaration of Independence.  As we all know by now, "Hamilton" tells the story, in rap-music form, of one of the most complicated and intriguing Framers of our Constitution--Alexander Hamilton. Perhaps even more so than "1776," it makes use of contemporary music, and even more contemporary casting, to take the past and bring it to life in the present.

And how lucky we are that two men, each essential to one of these two shows, got together on the stage of the same theater in which they both made history and helped it come alive at the same time, and talk about what it all meant to them!

There may be no greater argument for the value of historic theaters than this historic meeting.

I'll have more to say when I come back from Chicago.  Happy Fourth, everyone!

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