"Liberty: A Monumental New Musical" Review - A Show That Represents our Country

 

The Fourth of July is the perfect day for Liberty: A Monumental New Musical to make its’ premier at the 42 West (514 W.42nd Street, between 10th & 11th Ave.)  In so many ways, this show represents our country then and now. As fireworks filled the sky just last evening, I knew much more about our history than I did before.  It gave me goosebumps.

In this intimate theatre, this show explodes with talent, history, original songs and acting that is thrilling to experience.

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

Do you ever ask yourself ‘how much history do I REALLY know”?  When you take a ride around The Statue of Liberty do you think about the journey, the history, the reasons, the symbol for which she stands?  Sure, we know Lady Liberty stands tall in our harbor welcoming all those who pass through.  Yet, do we know her journey and her symbolism?

In June, 1885 Ms. Liberty came to us as a gift of friendship from the people of France.  We know that and if/when you take a trip around Ellis Island, you will get ‘some’ history.  But, if you want to experience this incredible story live, this show is a must.  Guaranteed you will learn something you never knew about Ms. Liberty and how she now stands proudly over our Harbor.

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

Liberty the Musical doesn’t just answer these questions; she comes to ‘life’ so you can take the journey with her as she leaves her home in France to come to New York.

Based on true events, Liberty is an entertaining 80-minute theatrical experience, detailing the story of Lady Liberty’s arrival to America in a show that is appealing to patrons of all ages.

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

Coming to the United States in the middle of a national immigration debate and a terrible recession, political forces are aligning to deport Lady Liberty. With a strong resolve and a mighty spirit, she battles to gain acceptance and becomes the icon - of our country.

Abigail Shapiro, at 16 years of age, is our Ms. Liberty.  She is dressed in a gorgeous, statuesque gown of gold.  She is a talented young woman who appears in every scene as she says goodbye to her father as he sends her to our country to ultimately welcome ‘all those who pass.’  The show truly comes to life as our Lady Liberty gets to greet the poor immigrants and well as the famous New York City aristocrats. 

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

This includes a stonemason and former slave, Samuel Ferguson (C. Mingo Long), whose singing of “More” is a moving experience; James Goodleaf (Duncan), an ironworker; Joseph Pulitzer (Aldrich), the Austrian-born newspaper publisher of The World.   Pulitzer’s fundraising efforts helped get Lady Liberty’s pedestal built; and Emma Lazarus (Emma Rosenthal), the author of “The New Colossus,” and the poet who wrote the famed poem inscribed on the bronze plaque on the pedestal of Lady Liberty. (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free”).

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

To see these people ‘come to life’ in today’s world is a thrill.  Yet, as history repeats itself, today’s world is not much different than it was 130 years ago.   

Experience Liberty, A Monumental Musical with your family.  It will give you a sense of history, but more importantly, you will be proud to be an American.  To see this statue finally step onto her pedestal and raise her torch in something you won’t soon forget.

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

I did a bit of research on This famous statue to learn about the restoration.  I visited the libertyellisfoundation.org and found my grandfather and grandmother’s journey to the United States.  It was thrilling to see.

 

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan asked Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, to head a private sector effort to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) was founded.

 

The Foundation's fundraising drive sparked a dramatic response. The American people contributed more than $700 million (and counting!) to the repair, restoration, and maintenance of these two great monuments to freedom. All funds for the Foundation's projects have come from the American people — no government funds have been used.

 

The Foundation, working with its public partner, the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, first tackled the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. After almost a century, weather, pollution, and sightseeing had left Lady Liberty's torch in need of replacement and her crown's rays in need of strengthening. An army of architects, historians, engineers, and almost 1,000 laborers embarked on the project — which also involved the installation of new elevators and an informative exhibit in the Statue's base.

 

July 4th weekend, 1986, thirty years ago this week, a gala four-day event celebrated the restoration.  Fireworks filled the night skies; tall ships flocked the Harbor.  "Liberty Weekend," attended by President Reagan and President Francois Mitterand of France was broadcast to 1.5 billion people in 51 countries. 

 

The Foundation, the National Park Service and the American People had launched the most successful public-private partnership in the history of the United States.

Liberty Photo Credit - Russ Rowland

Liberty: A Monumental New Musical features a book and lyrics by Dana Leslie Goldstein with music by Jon Goldstein.  The cast album is available for purchase so you can also keep history in your home after you leave the theater.

It is currently playing at the 42 West (514 W.42nd Street, between 10th & 11th Ave.)  for more information please visit libertythemusical website

 

 

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