8/2/2013 10:27 AM
Stephen Sislen and Ben Winters have created a fun and friendly children's' musical. And for a children's musical about the so-often-romanticized revolutionary period, you could certainly do a lot worse than this take on the Longfellow poem. Their creation of pre-Revolutionary Boston is a lively and exciting one that is sure to entertain--and even inform. The characters are broad and the humor stylized. But there are enough subversions of the traditional mythology of the Revolution to keep things more interesting: the leaders of the Sons of Liberty--Sam Adams, John Hancock and Joseph Warren may be paragons of virtue, but they are clowns as well. That title fits better with Paul Revere, the only character not doubled, who is flawless save for his relationship with Rachel. The portrayal of the British is relatively humanizing in the soldier Thomas, but the portrayal of King George is overdone, shown inaccurately as a madman he would not become until later. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere is great for a Youth production with flexible cast sizes due to its doubling. It is a wonderful introduction to the period, but those searching for a more sophisticated take should look elsewhere.