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The Sun Herald | 07/04/2004 | Plays celebrate this most American holiday oday is the day we celebrate our nation's birthday - 228 years old, and the American Theater community has dramatized our history and heritage in both respectful and satiric means. From Maxwell Anderson's "Valley Forge," to Sidney Kingsley's "The Patriots," Mark Van Doren's "The Last Days of Lincoln," and Dore Schary's "Sunrise at Campobello," American dramatists have chronicled our holidays and celebrated our freedoms. In 1964, Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards collaborated on a stunning musical marking the birth of the nation, "1776." This play recounts the three months leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, exposing the arguments and personalities of the leading fathers of our country. It begins with the Congress scolding John Adams and pleading with Thomas Jefferson. The closing scene, the roll call of the 13 colonies naming each delegate, is accompanied by the Liberty Bell tolling "Freedom!" The tableau freezes into the familiar Pine-Savage engraving of the "Signing of the Declaration," a heart-pounding teary-eyed experience.


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