Presidential campaigns have inspired over two centuries of songs, marches, and topical tunes--each reflecting the hopes of the candidates, expressed in the musical style of their times.
“The 1976 Presidential Retrospective Musical Brunch” celebrates this American tradition for song has figured in U.S. politics even prior to 17796 with “Yankee Doodle” to Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite :A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight”, to Irving Berlin’s “I Like Ike” and so on…
Brought to life again by Howard Da Silva, the legendary Broadway figure in many memorable musicals including “Oklahoma!”, “Fiorello”, and “1776”, joined by performers Julian Patrick, Del Horstmann and William Elliott.
Set in a Tammany Hall style urban clubhouse, the production presents a sheaf of authentic campaign songs re-discovered in the New York Historical Society archives by Broadway actor-singer Michael Quinn. With a script by Gordon Hyatt linking the numbers come campaign songs ranging from “Jefferson & Liberty”, to “Tilden & Reform” (from the “stolen” election of 1876) to “Get on the Raft with Taft” (dangerous idea, Mr. Taft weighed over 300 pounds), to “Wilson, That’s All!” to “Row, Row, Row with Roosevelt”.
Here is Americana at its best, brought to life by a quartet of Broadway pros, singing and dancing Ward Heelers, backed by Abba Bogin’s back up musicians.