I found this posted by WesternActor on ATC this evening and felt that it was worthy of sharing; it takes a close look at the songs and scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as it played in NY in 1976.
1. Overture (different from the one played at A White House Cantata, but more on that later), a mixture of “American Dreaming” (see below), “Rehearse!”, “Take Care of This House,” and “The President Jefferson March.”
2. Prologue: A march-and-tambourine opening in which the “actors” playing the four leads introduce themselves, their characters, and what the evening will be about.
3. “Rehearse!”: The complete casts sings about the American virtue of trying things over and over agqain until you get them right (“In the course of human events / There’s only one event that makes sense / Rehearse and rehearse / Rehearse and don’t stop / And if we do / And if we don’t drop / It’s gonna be great!”)
4. “If I Was a Dove”: Little Lud, a runaway slave, tries to hide from the people who are trying to track him down in the night.
5. Abigail Adams’s carriage, lost en route to Washington, almost runs over Lud. They strike up a friendship when he gives Abigail directions, and she takes him with her. Along the way, she explains how President Washington founded the city (“On Ten Square Miles by the Potamac River”).
6. “Welcome Home Miz Adams”: The black White House staff greets Abigail and Lud as they begin to get situated in the unfinished White House.
7. President John Adams arrives and immediately begins making plans to leave the house he already hates (“On Ten Square Miles by the Potamac River” reprise, sung by Abigail in Cantata).
8. “Take Care of This House”: Abigail, though distressed at the distressed state of the house, is nonetheless enchanted by it, and sees it as a symbol for the freedom the United States represents. She convinces John to give the house a chance, and he agrees; Lud stays on and joins the serving staff.
9. “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”: Adams writes an invitation to Abigail for a house-warming party to christen the new Executive Mansion. (“May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof).
10. When Thomas Jefferson becomes president, he insists that all the serving staff, including Lud, learn to write.
11. “The President Jefferson Sunday Luncheon Party March”: Lud writes a letter to Abigail telling her of Jefferson’s latest innovation: music during brunch. During the number, it becomes clear that Jefferson has been having an affair with one of the servants. (In different lyrics in the “oom-pah-pah” section, the women sing “Father of democracy / And I’m told there is proof.”
Lud finishes his letter and time passes).
12. “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” reprise: Dolly Madison writes an invitation to a Presidential reception during the war of 1812. Lud, now an adult, prepares for the celebration with Jefferson’s daughter, whom he happens to love: “Seena.”
13. “Sonatina”: The Madisons escape from Washington when the British invade Washington, afraid that all the city’s black residents will defect. Lud alone stays behind in the White House and confronts the British. They burn down the city, but a torrential rain prevents the White House from being completely destroyed.
14. “They Don’t Have to Pull It Down”: The original White House architect returns to inspect the damage house, and declares it fixable, though it will take three years.
15. “Lud’s Wedding (I Love My Wife)”: Lud, overjoyed, asks Seena to marry him, and she accepts. The proceedings are overseen by Reverend Bushrod (“Lord look into da window / Where dere’s love dere is life / Take de cake from de oven / We got a lovin’ / Husband and wife!”) and a dance follows.
16. “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” reprise: Eliza Monroe begins writing an invitation to the official reopening of the White House, but can’t see to complete it because none of the furniture has arrived.
17. “Auctions”: Eliza complains to her husband James about the slave auctions in the streets, which she finds especially detestable because the auctioneers are snatching free people off the streets and selling them into servitude. (This, for the record, is what Lud and Seena are discussing in their duet “This Time,” in the Cantata but not in the show on Broadway.) James is afraid to do anything about this, and proposes ending the problem once and for all by sending all black Americans to Liberia—beginning with the White House staff. Outraged, Eliza goes to bed.
18. “Monroviad (The Little White Lie)”: James tries to convince Eliza this plan is the best way to make things better for everyone, but she refuses to accept it.
19. “The President Jefferson March” reprise: A parade of presidents leads us to
20. “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” reprise: On the eve of the 1960 election, President James Buchanan writes an invitation to a party celebrating the arrival of the Prince of Wales.
21. “We Must Have a Ball”: Buchanan, aware of the troubles brewing in the country, believes a party between representatives of the North and South will reduce tensions.
22. “Take Care of This House” (reprise): It doesn’t work. Abraham Lincoln is elected, South Carolina secedes, and the curtain falls.
1. Entr’acte (not in the Cantata in any form), a combination of “The President Jefferson March,” a bit of “Yankee Doodle,” and “Rehearse!”
2. “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” reprise: President Andrew Johnson’s staff celebrates his impending removal from office.
3. “Forty Acres and a Mule”: Johnson’s staff holds a mock trial while the real trial is being held in the Senate.
4. “Bright and Black”: The staff celebrates the better world that will result from Johnson’s absence.
5. Mrs. Johnson, suffering from consumption, worries about her husband’s fate. Johnson returns, in high spirits, and sends her to bed. Alone with Seena, he confesses he expects to be found guilty. She’s cold to him at first, but he convinces her that he truly has black Americans’ best interests in heart, however the opposition may have made it look. He is saved from removal from office by a single vote.”Hail”: Ulysses Grant is elected.
6. “Duet for One (The First Lady of the Land)”: Grant leaves office and is replaced by Rutherford B. Hayes, following a complicated and controversial vote recount. Grant’s wife, Julia, believes he stole the office, while Hayes’s wife Lucy revels in her new role.
7. The servants roil at the results of the election, with Lud saying that Hayes is “repealing the Civil War” all by himself.
8. “American Dreaming”: Lud, outraged, screams that Lincoln’s advances are being destroyed (this is also not heard in the Cantata).
9. “When We Were Proud”: Lud and Seena, in despair at the state of affairs, leave the White House, Lud’s promise to Abigail echoing sadly in his ears. (This song uses the same melody as the Cantata‘s finale, “To Make Us Proud,” but has entirely different lyrics.)
10. “Hail” reprise: James A. Garfield is elected and assassinated.
11. Chester Alan Arthur assumes the presidency but finds himself fighting powerful forces of corruption.
12. “The Robber-Baron Minstrel Parade” and “Pity the Poor”: These and the two following songs are presented in the form of a minstrel show, complete with tambourines, end men, and blackface. Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York wields much power, and the rich men of America can’t stop singing about their impact over the powerless president.
13. “The Mark of a Man”: Arthur resists the allure of wealth and power, and stands firm in the face of adversity. (In the Cantata, this song is sung following “The Little White Lie.”) He feels good about himself, even if the rest of the country isn’t convinced.
14. “The Red White and Blues”: The robber-baron minstrels, however, are too powerful, and Arthur can’t win against them. He isn’t even nominated for reelection, but escapes the White House with his morals intact.
15. “Hail” reprise: Grover Cleveland and William McKinley are elected, and McKinley is shot.
16. Funeral sequence: The music heard as the overture in the cantata serves as the music playing under the country’s mourning for McKinley.
17. The actors—or their characters—make speeches about how far they and the country has come since 1800. “A fine old house. I’ve seen an enemy try to burn it and fail, one part of the nation try to divide it and fail, one branch of the government try to capture it and fail, and a group of men try to buy it and not fail,” the president actor says… “Until now.” Teddy Roosevelt assumes the presidency.
18. “Rehearse!” reprise: The Roosevelts and the country rejoice in the new opportunities ahead. “1900 is here / Stand up and cheer / It’s gonna be great / 1800 adjourned / The corner is turned / It’s gonna be great / All of the wrongs we never put right / Can have a happy ending in sight / If we will rehearse / Rehearse and don’t stop / And if we do / It’s gonna be great!” Everyone continues rehearsing as the curtain falls.
19. Exit music: Several different variations on “The President Jefferson March.”