Spring of 2021 is going to feel more like July of 1776, with a Broadway revival of the classic Sherman Edwards (music and lyrics) and Peter Stone (book) musical 1776. Roundabout Theatre Company, in association with the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, will present a new Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical with Diane Paulus (Pippin, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Waitress) at the helm.
“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. I have enormous respect for Diane Paulus and very much look forward to collaborating with her on 1776, which is an important part of Roundabout’s musical history on Broadway,” notes Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO.
The production will also be presented in a handful of cities between the A.R.T. and Roundabout engagements, including at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in July of 2020. Additional dates, cities, and cast and creative team will be announced at a later date. For its Broadway berth, 1776 will play the American Airlines Theatre. This will be the second time that the Roundabout Theatre Company has mounted the piece. In 1998, it was directed by Artistic Director Scott Ellis and received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of Musical.
1776 tells the harrowing (and often hilarious) tale of our nation’s founding fathers as they assemble during a scorching hot summer in Philadelphia to discuss, debate, and resolve the subject of American independence. Depicting some of our great leaders as flawed, funny, and conflicted, the musical finds the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Dickinson, Edward Rutledge (and a gloomy letter-writing George Washington) in heated stasis as they try to determine whether or not they should sever ties with England.
Winner of the 1969 Tony Award for Best Musical, 1776 originally opened at Broadway’s 46th Street Theatre on March 16, 1969 and boasted a cast that included William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Paul Hecht, Clifford David, Ron Holgate, David Ford, Virginia Vestoff, and Betty Buckley (in her Broadway debut). The production was directed by Peter Hunt.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.