February 14, 2006

THAT ONE'LL NEVER WIN A TONY:

Riotous 'Tremain' captures colonial spirit (HEDY WEISS , 2/14/06, Chicago Sun-Times)

And now, from the theater company that not so long ago brought you that sensational Civil War drama "The Killer Angels," comes "Johnny Tremain," an equally terrific, exuberantly told tale of the American Revolution.

There they all are on the Lifeline Theatre stage -- Samuel Adams, the great organizer; Paul Revere, the master craftsman; John Hancock, the man of wealth, along with the rest of those underground radicals who called themselves the Sons of Liberty, and who faced down King George III's army of redcoats to fight for the rights of man. It's enough to inspire a cry of "no taxation without representation" and to set you singing a chorus of "Yankee Doodle."

The gifted adapter John Hildreth has turned to Esther Forbes' 1944 Newbery Medal-winning book -- for decades a young adult classic, and a story written just a couple of years after Forbes' adult work of history about Paul Revere won her a 1942 Pulitzer Prize. And in conjunction with the hugely resourceful director Katie McLean and an ingenious team of designers, he has devised a show with surefire appeal for audiences of all ages. That label may make some wary, but be advised, this is a great yarn, steeped in delicious language and humor, and brought to life by a group of hugely engaging, high-energy actors.


Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2006 12:00 AM
Comments

Excellent book; read it as a young lad! I still have it.

Posted by: Dave W at February 14, 2006 11:56 AM

Loved it as a kid.

Speaking of revolutionary war era fiction have any of you read Kenneth Roberts' books - Arundel, Rabble in Arms, etc.?

I notice OJ hasn't reviewed any. Well worth a look. I just check Amazon and they seem to be back in print.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 14, 2006 12:10 PM

Disney had a short TV series back in the fifties, possible based on this book.

Posted by: jdkelly at February 14, 2006 1:57 PM

I hated it when I was kid, but I was in a smug teenage frame of mind at that point so maybe I'll give it another shot. I still hate "A Separate Peace" though.

Posted by: Bryan at February 14, 2006 4:50 PM

oj,
Actually, Disney had a great, according to reviews on Amazon and my watching in the 50's, movie on Johnny. Have no idea of what the "Lifeline Theater" production looks like, but, for a great visual adaptation of the book,
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005JM6F/103-1040439-6889469?v=glance&n=130
Mike Daley
BTW, even after eight years, I'm still too stupid to figure out the putting of html tags in a comment. sorry!

Posted by: Mike Daley at February 14, 2006 9:33 PM
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