Twitter: American Repertory Theater
Twitter: American Repertory Theater

A revival of the historical musical 1776 is set to make a return to Broadway with a diverse LGBTQ+ and female-led cast.

Back in 2019, Deadline revealed that Roundabout Theatre Company and American Repertory Theater would be bringing back the popular musical after a 20+ year absence.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us at Roundabout, to bring this beloved musical back to the Broadway stage in partnership with our colleagues at the A.R.T,” said Todd Haims, Roundabout’s Artistic Director/CEO.

The show, which features music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, follows one of America’s founding fathers, John Adams, as he tries to persuade his colleagues to sign the Declaration of Independence.

However unlike previous iterations of the show, the forthcoming revival is set to feature its most diverse cast yet – with actors who identify as female, transgender and non-binary as part of the leading ensemble.

According to Theaterly, Cyrstal Lucas-Perry will play the lead role of John Adams, with Gisela Adisa as Robert Livingston, Nancy Anderson as George Read, Elizabeth A. Davis as Thomas Jefferson and Patrena Murray as Benjamin Franklin.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, Lucas-Perry opened up about the importance of the revival featuring a female and queer-led cast.

“I believe there’s something to be gained when we reexamine history in this way, by putting faces and bodies onstage that were not a part of the traditional make up of the show,” she told the publication.

“When we shift the gaze, so you see a different perspective, we start to hear things that we didn’t hear before and see things that maybe we didn’t want to see but that have always been in the story from the beginning.”

Fortunately for musical enthusiasts, the Diane Paulus and Jeffrey L Page-directed show will begin previews on 16 September – with its limited Broadway return set for 6 October.

Having first premiered in 1969, 1776 was met with critical acclaim and earned three Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The show went on to run for 1,217 performances and was later made into a feature film in 1972.

After an extended absence from the Broadway stage, Roundabout Theater Company brought forth its first limited revival of the acclaimed show in 1997.

Check out the trailer for the new production of 1776 here or below.