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Encores! Takes Inspiration from Broadway's HAMILTON, Seeks 'Multi-Ethnic' Cast for 1776

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Encores! is taking some forward-thinking inspiration from Lin-Manuel Miranda's HAMILTON for its upcoming production of the Tony-winning musical 1776.

The show originally premiered on Broadway in 1969 with an all-caucasian cast, led by William Daniels as John Adams. With HAMILTON's colorful ensemble bringing the founding fathers closer to modern audiences, Encores! has just revealed in a casting notice that 1776 "will be a completely multi-ethnic production."

The roles of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams and more will be filled by actors from all backgrounds, directed by Garry Hynes, with musical direction by Rob Berman.

In the Encores! season announcement, Jack Viertel said in a statement, "1776 is a show we've long contemplated doing, but wanted to wait a sufficient amount of time after its successful 1997 revival. This season, with Lin-Manuel Miranda's HAMILTON opening on Broadway and dealing with many of the same story elements in a completely different way, we felt it would be an especially enjoyable moment to look at this wonderful show. It may also start a few conversations, which, in the theater, we always hope to do."

1776 is set in the halls of Congress, as the founding fathers battle out the question of independence and draft the declaration that will sever their ties to England and give birth to a new nation. Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and their cohorts argue and grandstand through speeches and songs such as "Sit Down, John," "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men," and "He Plays the Violin." 1776 features music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone.

Rehearsals begin mid-March for a March 30th opening. Encores! 1776 will run through April 3, 2016 at New York City Center.

Who would you like to see in Encores! 1776? Tell us in the comments below!


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