Founder’s Day

The founding fathers: a remix, at Turner Hall Ballroom. We preview the upcoming one-night-only performance of 1776, which features casting across racial and gender lines.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical Hamilton is on everyone’s ticket wish list these days, which means it’s a fine time to revisit another musical about a few fateful days in Philadelphia.

Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone’s 1776 opened in 1969 — a Great White Way neighbor of counterculture icons like Hair and Oh! Calcutta! — and has had its own cult following ever since.

In this production, Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s casting crosses racial and gender lines, which will enable some stellar performers to portray white male historical figures. Among the cast is Rana Roman as John Hancock, Marti Gobel as Dr. Lyman Hall and Nathaniel Stampley as Thomas Jefferson.

For one night only, you’ll want to be in the room where it happens.

May 23. Turner Hall Ballroom.

‘Founder’s Day’ appears in the May 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.