The Boston Globe- Somewhat Recommended
"...Unlike that other well-known take on the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War era, "Hamilton," which is bursting with one indelible Lin-Manuel Miranda song after another, "1776″ features a score by Sherman Edwards that, with a few exceptions, falls well short of memorable."
Boston Herald- Highly Recommended
"...While "1776" doesn't shy away from the horror of the age, it is shot through with humor and melody. Not a lecture or lesson, it's a dynamic, captivating Broadway musical about to win some 2023 Tonys (Lucas-Perry must win one!). That comes from a smartly cast group of performers with acting chops, vocal might, charisma and chemistry."
The New York Times- Somewhat Recommended
"...Now it's back to 1776 in a revival which tries to refocus our attention on who was left out of that declaration, re-centering the story around race, women, and gender expression. The parts are all played by performers who identify as female, non-binary, and trans which is somewhat revolutionary and a potentially interesting idea. I get it-and I got it in the first five minutes once the cast made its appearance. And this cast does its best with some stand out moments. But there remains the same old undistinguished score by Sherman Edwards, and a book by Peter Stone with its flaccid jokes about the congressional members' "members," and what we've already been told about these various characters and their quirks played mostly for laughs: who was a nag, who was a drunk, who could play the violin- and how."
WBUR- Highly Recommended
"...The American Repertory Theater's (A.R.T) electrifying production of "1776" is no ordinary history lesson. From the moment the cast steps onstage in what appears to be regular street clothes and then transforms with the pulling up of socks, the donning of brocade jackets and buckled shoes, and the use of elegant choreography by Jeffrey L. Page, it's evident that the opening scene foreshadows an energetic ride down a familiar path."
"...When the Tony-winning musical "1776" debuted on Broadway in 1969, it celebrated America's ideals on the eve of its Bicentennial. Half a century later, a radical makeover brings critique front and center, while treating those ideals as a chimera rather than a promise fulfilled. The production's pre-Broadway tryout at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., holds this truth to be self-evident: that the Declaration of Independence's promises of freedom and justice were mere words, compromised and betrayed from the very moment of ratification."
TheatreMania- Somewhat Recommended
"...You were expecting, maybe, the second coming of Hamilton? Or even a runner-up to the more recent Suffs? Jeffrey L. Page's and Diane Paulus's Broadway-bound revival of the 1969 classic 1776 at American Repertory Theater is neither, though it deserves points for nontraditional casting. The evocative stage curtain, a patchwork of faded US flags (minimalist set by Scott Pask), parts to reveal a huge multiracial, multiethnic company - all cis-female, trans female, or nonbinary - dressed in ragtag rehearsal mufti. The actors shed their kicks, step into buckled shoes, roll up white hose, don frock coats - and the game is on. If only the rest of the production stayed as lively and arresting as this framing device."
Edge- Not Recommended
"...But the larger problem is that "1776" has always been close to a theme park entertainment that would be right at home in Williamsburg, Virginia. This revival never solves that problem - it still feels like a theme park entertainment, but this time it is Woke World."
The Arts Fuse- Somewhat Recommended
"...After much self-ballyhooing, this much anticipated revival of the musical 1776 has arrived, and the trend-makers (and Hamilton whisperers) at the American Repertory Theater and Roundabout Repertory Theatre Company also draw on the signing of the Declaration of Independence as a way to reenvision history. In this version, the roles of the members of the first Continental Congress - white men all - are performed by a multiracial, multigenerational cast that includes only female, nonbinary, and transgender performers."
New England Theater Mirror- Highly Recommended
"...So when it was announced that A.R.T. was producing a diverse version of the Tony-award winning 1776, a musical about the founding of America by mostly rich white guys, featuring a cast comprised of performers who identify as female, non-binary, and trans, my cynicism remained. Thankfully, I'm more than happy to report that not only was my skepticism unfounded, 1776 is a solid production that is alternately thought-provoking and joyous."
The New England Theatre Geek- Somewhat Recommended
"...1776 does much to hold audience members accountable for the US' violent, deliberate history of slavery. It could do more. White audience members may be shocked at what they learn. BIPOC won't be shocked. Hopefully, subsequent productions will be inspired by this 1776 to continue the groundwork of the A.R.T."
Broadway World- Highly Recommended
"...It is no surprise to anyone that we are living in an incredibly politically charged time. People in this country are losing their rights, gun violence is on the rise, and the democracy of which is the foundation of our country is at jeopardy. One can't help but wonder if this is the future our Founding Fathers had envisioned for our country. 1776, now playing at the American Repertory Theater (in partnership with Roundabout Theatre Company), gives us a look at what may have been going through their minds when leading America to its independence."