1776 (musical)/Trivia

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Cover Drop: It wasn't until after the poster art was created that "The Egg" was written and added to the show.
  • Dawson Casting: 26-year-old South Carolinian Edward Rutledge, the youngest man in the Congress -- "except for Ben Franklin" -- was played by then-42-year-old John Cullum.
    • True of the original Rutledge, Clifford David, as well: he was 37 when the show opened.
    • Averted with Ken Howard who was only 28 when he portrayed Jefferson in the movie, and 25 when he was in the show on Broadway.
  • Executive Meddling: Literally! Then-US President Richard Nixon convinced friend and producer Jack Warner to expunge the musical number "Cool Considerate Men," an ode to wealthy conservatism sung by the antagonist, from The Movie for purely political reasons -- and not just remove it but destroy all the footage. As Warner was no longer working with his and his brother's namesake studio, however, the employees responsible merely packed it into unmarked boxes and stashed it with all of the other film negatives, letting Paramount Pictures rediscover it years later for the Special Edition. Nixon had earlier attempted to pressure playwright Sherman Edwards into removing the number after seeing a performance of the play at the White House, but Edwards refused. Guess that makes this Executive Branch Meddling. Or Chief Executive Editing.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The fountain central to "The Lees of Old Virginia" is the same fountain that appears in the opening credits of Friends.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Those that don't recognize William Daniels as Mr. Feeny may recognize his voice as that of KITT.
  • The Pete Best: Paul Hecht and Clifford David originated the roles of John Dickinson and Edward Rutledge, respectively, but it was Donald Madden and John Cullum who created the most enduring versions of the characters in the film version.
  • Playing Against Type: Both William Daniels and Howard da Silva were cast wildly against type. Circa 1969, Daniels specialized in meek, ineffectual, and prematurely middle-aged characters, while da Silva was best known as a nasty villain (like Jud in the original Oklahoma!). In Daniels' case, characters like Dr. Craig and Mr. Feeny were a result of post-1776 typecasting.
  • Star-Making Role: 1776 took William Daniels from the aforementioned meek and ineffectual roles and gave him a career playing sharp and caustic wits.
  • Typecasting: Ron Holgate (Richard Henry Lee) had already established himself as an actor specializing in roles that called for an extremely Large Ham, like Miles Gloriosus in the original cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.