Michel Bell, who played Joe in the recent revival of Show Boat , and Cheryl Freeman, one of the stars of Play On! , lead the 26-cast of the Broadway-bound Frank Wildhorn musical Civil War. The show is due at Broadway's St. James Theatre beginning Mar. 23, 1999 and will officially open Apr. 22. A pre-Broadway engagement will take place at New Haven's Shubert Theatre Feb. 16-Mar. 7.
The Civil War , which has lyrics by Jack Murphy and a book by Alley Theatre artistic director Gregory Boyd, draws from original Civil War-era documents for its subject matter. The authors raided correspondence, diaries, newspaper accounts, speeches by Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, even the poetry of Walt Whitman, to communicate the real-life experiences of the soldiers and civilians who endured the war.
Also in the cast are Matt Bogart (Miss Saigon), Gilles Chiasson (Rent), Lawrence Clayton (Dreamgirls), Dave Clemmons, Mike Eldred, David Michael Felty, Hope Harris, Capathia Jenkins, Keith Byron Kirk, Michael Lanning, Beth Leavel, David M. Lutken, Gene Miller, Irene Molloy, Wayne Pretlow, Jim Price, Royal Reed, Christopher Roberts, John Sawyer, Ron Sharpe, Bart Shatto and Cassandra White.
Jerry Zaks will direct The Civil War, while Luis Perez will provide the musical staging. The design crew features Douglas W. Schmidt (sets), Paul Gallo (lights), William Ivey Long (costumes), Karl Richardson (sound) and Wendall K. Harrington (projections).
Civil War is produced by Pierre Cosette, PACE Theatrical Group, Bomurwil Productions, Kathleen Raitt, Magicworks Entertainment, Inc., and Jujamcyn Theaters For information, call (212) 239-6200.