Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Broadway: The Great Musical “1776” is Coming Back with All the Forefathers Played by Women, Transgender, or Non-Binary Actors


The great musical, “1776,” is coming back for a revival — with a twist.

All the forefathers of the American revolution will be played by women, trans, or non-binary actors.

You heard me right. John Adams, who was played by the great William Daniels in the original 1969 production, will be shown to us in the person of Crystal Lucas-Perry, a Black female actor. Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello will star as John Dickinson. In the 1997 revival Carmello played Abigail Adams, John’s wife.

Performances begin September 16th at the Roundabout Theater. This production, directed by Diane Paulus and Jeffrey Page, first played at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.

All of the cast will be actors who identify as female, transgender, and non-binary. History be damned. After “Hamilton,” all bets are off.

The cast also includes Gisela Adisa as Robert Livingston, Nancy Anderson as George Read, Becca Ayers as Col. Thomas McKean, Tiffani Barbour as Andrew McNair, Allyson Kaye Daniel as Abigail Adams/Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, Elizabeth A. Davis as Thomas Jefferson, Mehry Eslaminia as Charles Thomson, Joanna Glushak as Stephen Hopkins, Shawna Hamic as Richard Henry Lee, Eryn LeCroy as Martha Jefferson/Dr. Lyman Hall, Liz Mikel as John Hancock, Patrena Murray as Benjamin Franklin, Oneika Phillips as Joseph Hewes, Lulu Picart as Samuel Chase, Sara Porkalob as Edward Rutledge, Sushma Saha as Judge James Wilson, Brooke Simpson as Roger Sherman, Salome B. Smith as Courier, Sav Souza as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Jill Vallery as Caesar Rodney, and Ariella Serur, Grace Stockdale, and Imani Pearl Williams as standbys.

The producers have hedged their bets. This is a limited run in the Roundabout’s subscription calendar. It ends on January 8, 2023 before hitting the road with a national tour.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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