Appleseed Productions is pleased to announce its first foray into the summer season in our newly air-conditioned theater on the Atonement Stage. Since we are making history for Appleseed, we thought we would celebrate the history of our America by mounting the patriotic musical '1776' just in time for Independence Day. '1776' will play weekends June 22 through July 7. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Appleseed performs on the Atonement Stage in Syracuse's Valley section at 116 West Glen Ave.

'1776' is a unique piece of musical theater with a striking score by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone that is legendary in its craftsmanship. '1776' was a Tony Award winner for Best Musical in its debut in 1969 and the revival in 1997 was nominated for a Tony as well. The musical play details the seminal event in American history putting a human face on the pages of history. We see the men behind the national icons: proud, frightened, uncertain, irritable, charming, often petty and ultimately noble figures determined to do the right thing for a fledgling nation. This is the first time '1776' has been produces by a Syracuse-area company in more than 13 years.

John Adams (Dan Stevens) the most obnoxious man in the Continental Congress endeavors to convince his fellow colleagues into declaring Independence from Britain. He and Benjamin Franklin (Paul Gundersen) enlists the unwilling Thomas Jefferson (Colin Keating) to write the Declaration of Independence in hopes of convincing the congress to into action. However, Jefferson longs to return home to his bride Martha (Patricia O' Rourke). Meanwhile Adams longs for his own wife, Abigail (Patricia Elise Catchouny) and their conversations show why they are considered one of the great love stories in American History.

However the forces opposing Independence are strong in number and resolve. The loyalists, led by Pennsylvania's John Dickenson (Mark Allen Holt) seek to block Adams and his cohorts at every turn. Edwin Rutledge (Bill Ali) of South Carolina allies his southern gentlemen to the loyalist cause. Not to mention that no colony has ever broken from the parent stem in the history of the world. It seems as if the forces opposing Independence are too great to overcome.

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