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68 is the compelling historical musical about the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. A portrait of a troubled summer when Americans witnessed – for the first time ever – vast scenes of violence broadcast live on TV, ’68  moves and lifts audiences by telling of heartaches, dreams, and fears that transcend time and allow audiences to see our own present through new eyes.

Award-winning authors (and keen political observers), Jamie Leo and Paul Leschen’s original new work is told through multiple characters – Chicago research librarians, hotel housekeepers, street cops, campaign volunteers, and community organizers – who were at the center of the storm.

With passion, humor, insights, and 14 new beautiful and memorable songs for an ensemble of performers and band, ’68 presents a portrait of America firmly grounded in the present and looking forward to our shared future.

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New York Musical Festival 2018 reviews

“Perhaps the most significant aspect of ’68 is its observations not just on the tumultuous past, but its implicit message on how history is currently repeating itself. It’s a new musical that is both insightful and didactic, leaving us – baby-boomers and today’s youth alike – with a heartfelt cry to ‘go help shape our fate.’” – Deb Miller, DC Metro

Leo and Leschen stir us … throughout this energetic musical whose songs underscore the importance of allowing divergent voices to inspire us today.” – Carole Di Tosti, Theater Pizzazz

“…an artful balance between clarity and chaos to lucidly tell the story of an event around which the fog of war still hasn’t fully lifted.”
– Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

“Even those who don’t get the humor in the incongruity will appreciate the stirring Soul sound of the song. Indeed, Paul Leschen’s score is largely a pleasing pastiche of a range of 60’s era music, especially some mighty pretty folk-rock songs.” – Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater

And from National Review…

“Needless to say, this musical was not for me. It was not for me in the same way that Abbie Hoffman, rock ’n’ roll (much of it), Howard Zinn, and drugs are not for me. But listen: I credit the show with sincerity — with an earnestness and even an idealism. Being in the theater was a bit like being in a political church. Not my church, mind you, but many people’s…

68 strives for a message of mutual understanding. Of dignity, respect, and all that (excellent) jazz. To borrow another phrase from Bill Buckley, this “can hardly be gainsaid.” – Jay Nordlinger, National Review

NYMF 2018 audiences

“A question-asking, movement-whispering, humble-human masterpiece” – Eden Murphy, nurse

“I was blown away by this powerful and compelling musical! I was very moved!” – Warren Shaw, architect

“…a magnificent tale of a troubling era in U.S. history told humanely… A very smart musical with wonderful music … a lot of humor and insight.” – John C. Wilson, director

“Thanks for writing this. I got to think about oral history, 1968 — a year when we still had hope in spite of everything — and tap my toes at the same time!” – Jim Hubbard, historian, filmmaker

“A wonderful & really important show!!” – Elisa London, comedian

“A humane but mercilessly accurate dissection of the 1968 Democratic Convention and how the ensuing riots and political losses became a watershed tragedy for all Americans.” – Jay Blotcher, writer

“[I] feel moved and inspired, not only by the material, but by the knowledge that risk-taking in theater still DOES exist in NYC. I’m so proud of Paul Leschen (Bedbugs!!!, Twist, etc) and Jamie Leo for creating a piece that has the potential to be “Hair” for a new generation.” – Brian Charles Rooney, performer

Spring 2018 Tank concert preview audiences

“My own memories of 1968 came alive while watching ‘68, which I found to be touching and true to the momentous shift we all witnessed then. With wonderful music and writing, it didn’t feel dated, rather it felt like a must-experience milestone that elevates and embraces as we hurdle forward, resisting and persisting in the present, toward a future where all can thrive.” Wendy Brauer, designer & cultural strategist

“Watching this production you know you’re witnessing something very important. Where can I get the cast album?” Joseph Flattery, writer & communications strategist

“The story is compelling and the music was wonderful.” Keith Gemerek, photographer, activist

“It has been five days since I saw your musical for the first and only time, and I am still singing two songs from it daily. My partner and I cannot stop talking about it among ourselves, it is truly spectacular. I am so amazed at ’68.” Nina Nelkin, AV Programmer & IT Consultant

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