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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  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 history.

“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 Wildhorn.

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.


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