This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen joined the Morning Edition team to discuss two new local productions, one of which is Broadway bound.
Now playing at the Loeb Drama Center through July 24
"This is your chance to see it before it goes to Broadway," Bowen says.
"1776" is the Broadway-bound musical that retells the story of America's independence with a new cast. While the original musical by Edward Sherman premiered on Broadway in 1969, this time around, the “founding fathers” signing the Declaration of Independence are played by women and non-binary actors.
The musical focuses on how they squandered an opportunity to end slavery. A clause in the Declaration of Independence that would have outlawed slavery was removed in an effort to entice states in the South.
"It's so startling to realize how close we were to having dealt with this issue [slavery] in 1776," Bowen says. "While I found elements that are just soaring here and fantastic — and this is an exceptional cast, exceptional numbers — it did make me leave the theater also desperately wanting a show about this time period from the point of view directly from women."
Now playing at Lyric Stage Company of Boston through June 26
"I love these moments when I go into a theater knowing nothing about the show — because this is a relatively new piece — and just being completely taken aback," says Bowen.
Rashad, played by Dominic Carter, gives concerts tickets to his girlfriend Genesis, played by Yewande Odetoyinbo. Genesis is excited to go to the concert, which features one of her favorite female performers, until she learns that this performer is only the opening act for a male singer with whom she shares a rocky history. It leads to the couple fighting about perceptions of Black men and women, and the grace that the public extends to them.
"You have such great directing here by Jacqui Parker in a directorial debut for 'The Lyric,'" Bowen says. "At the end, I had to stifle myself from actually making an exclamation because I was so involved. I wanted to yell out from my seat — that's powerful it was."