*Click to enlarge photos



By John Weatherford


The 54 Sings Series at 54 Below selected 1776 for the 4th of July weekend. The show is a wonderful selection and is presented with great artistry. Michael McCormick, Paul Michael Valley and Daniel Marcus are from the original revival cast. McCormick, as John Adams, is incredible. His voice and presence are inspiring. Other cast members include: Aaron Ramey, Ben Crawford, Lucia Spina, Patrick Mellen, Jacob Hoffman, Kathleen Monteleone, David Alan Marshall, and Adam Shapiro. All were powerful and sincere.

The musical presentation, directed tightly by Lucia Spina, is fresh and strong. It is whisked along by Musical Director Jacob Yates and his assembled musicians. The host, Rob Maitner, brought insight and interesting show trivia to the evening. His passion for this musical is clear and his enthusiasm infectious.

For me, the highlight of the evening was provided by Brian Charles Rooney of Three Penny Opera fame. His performance of “Molasses to Rum to Slaves” is epic. Outside of his magnificent voice, he put into this song an understanding and clarity that any performer in any production of 1776 would dream to accomplish. He brought down the house in a show that had one show-stopper after another. Congratulations to Mr. Rooney. Here’s to an experience I won’t soon forget.

The show runs for two more performances. Saturday evening, July 5th at 7:00 and 9:30. Bring family and friends to this celebration of our independence. You will be delighted that you did.

Tickets/Info: (646) 476-3551

54 Below – 254 W 54th St, Cellar – New York, NY

*Photos/Video: Russ Weatherford