Powerful musical, tragic war
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum presents ‘Civil War’ in Union
Square Park July 24-27
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[July 18, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD – Five years ago,
the powerful musical “The Civil War” played to capacity crowds under
the stars at Union Square Park. Now, during the war’s 150th
anniversary, the show returns for four performances this month.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will present
“The Civil War” July 24-27. Performances begin at 8 p.m. in the
park, located next to the museum.
Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for members of the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. Tickets for the
lawn, where people can bring blankets and lawn chairs, are $5. Each
performance will have sign-language interpreters.
For tickets, visit
www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov or call 217-558-8934.
This musical telling of the Civil War is presented not as a
conventional narrative but rather an emotional landscape. Twenty-six
performers and six musicians bring to life the fears and hopes of
the people who lived this extraordinary event in our nation’s
“There are 20 songs in this musical theater work – each hitting home
what Americans went through during the war,” said the show’s
director, Phil Funkenbusch. “Songs such as ‘River Jordan,’ ‘A House
Divided,’ and “The Day the Sun Stood Still’ tell personal stories of
those who lived during that tumultuous time. We are honored to bring
‘The Civil War back to Springfield.”
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The show’s use of gospel, folk, country, rock and R&B to tell
this complex story earned it Tony Award nominations for best
musical and best original score. The book and lyrics are by
Frank Wildhorn, Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy; music by Frank
The cast features Ralph Shank and John O’Connor as
Union and Confederate captains, Kevin Ford as Frederick Douglass,
and Tracie Shaw (from the local gospel group The Four Sopranos) in
the Freedom Chorus.
Deb Watts is the show’s vocal director, and Mary Myers is musical
director. Ed MacMurdo stages the musical numbers, and Jeff Nevins
designed the lighting.
[Text received; CHRIS WILLIS,
ILLINOIS HISTORIC PRESERVATION AGENCY/ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL
LIBRARY & MUSEUM]