Theater News

Gisela Adisa, Nancy Anderson, Liz Mikel to Lead 1776 Tour, Kicking Off in February

The musical hits the road following its recent Broadway run.

Nancy Anderson, Gisela Adisa, and Liz Mikel
Nancy Anderson, Gisela Adisa, and Liz Mikel
(images provided by the production)

Gisela Adisa, Nancy Anderson, and Liz Mikel will lead the national tour of 1776, which begins performances February 11 at the Stanley Performing Arts Center in Utica, New York, before opening February 16 at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia.

Adisa is set to play John Adams, with Anderson as Thomas Jefferson and Mikel as Benjamin Franklin. The three performers understudied these roles in the recent Broadway company, while playing other characters full time.

They will be joined by a variety of actors from the Broadway cast playing the same or other roles: Joanna Glushak as John Dickinson, Tiffani Barbour as Andrew McNair, Shawna Hamic as Richard Henry Lee, Lulu Picart as Samuel Chase, Sav Souza as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Jill Vallery as Caesar Rodney, Shelby Acosta as Sec. Charles Thompson, Oneika Phillips as John Hancock, Ariella Seruru as Judge James Wilson, and Brooke Simpson as the Courier.

Rounding out the tour cast are Dawn Cantwell as Col. Thomas McKean, Julia Cardia as Stephen Hopkins, Anissa Marie Griego as Roger Sherman, Kassandra Haddock as Edward Rutledge, Connor Lyon as Martha Jefferson/Dr. Lyman Hall, Tiesha Thomas as Abigail Adams/Rev. John Witherspoon, Zuri Washington as Robert Livingston, Gwynne Wood as George Read, Candice Marie Woods as Joseph Hewes, and Sara Gallo and Lisa Karlin as standbys.

With a score by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone, this 1776 is directed by Diane Paulus and Jeffrey L. Page, and features a multiracial cast of female, transgender, and nonbinary performers playing America's founding fathers. The revival originated at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts in the summer of 2022, before opening on Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre in the fall of 2022.

1776 has sets by Scott Pask, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting by Jennifer Schriever, sound by Jonathan Deans, projections by David Bengali, music supervision/direction by Ryan Cantwell, orchestrations by John Clancy, vocal design by AnnMarie Milazzo, associate direction by Brisa Arelis Muñoz, associate choreography by Courtney Ross, and has original music supervision by David Chase.

The tour will also play stops in Los Angeles (Ahmanson Theatre, April 5-May 7); San Jose, Californina (Center for the Performing Arts, May 16-21); Charlotte, North Carolina (Belk Theater, June 6-11); the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (June 27-July 16), and many other cities.

In his review of the Broadway production, TheaterMania critic David Gordon said, "The result, while enjoyable, shows a fundamental lack of trust and understanding in material that they would see already does the work for them, if they just stopped to listen." Read the full review here.