Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas, Starring Alice Ripley and Bob Stillman, Opens Off-Broadway Dec. 4
By Adam Hetrick
Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas, set on Christmas Eve 1864 as America faced an uncertain future, officially opens Dec. 4 at the New York Theatre Workshop. Tony Award winner Alice Ripley and Bob Stillman co-star as Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, respectively, in the music-filled production.
Tina Landau (In the Red and Brown Water, Floyd Collins) stages the New York bow that began previews Nov. 15 and will run through Dec. 30.
Vogel's play, which brings together a large swath of fictional characters and historic figures, premiered in 2008 at the Long Wharf Theatre. It has been produced at a host of regional theatres across the U.S. since its debut.
Ripley (Next to Normal, Side Show) and Stillman (Grey Gardens) are joined by Amber Iman, Sumaya Bouhbal, K. Todd Freeman, Chris Henry, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Antwayn Hopper, Jonathan-David, Karen Kandel and Sean Allan Krill.
The play, according to NYTW, "weaves a rich tapestry of a beleaguered and divided nation, war-weary and desperate for goodwill, on a blustery Christmas Eve in 1864. Through the personal stories and struggles of a wide range of historical figures and fictional characters – from the President's wife to runaway slaves, Union and Confederate soldiers to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman – we learn that, for all their differences, one thing is clear: the yearning for peace cuts across religious and class divisions, color lines and, of course, the Mason-Dixon Line. At once familiar and freshly re-imagined, the story of that winter night is alive with history, hope and humanity."
The production incorporates traditional carols and music of the era.
Music supervision and arrangements for A Civil War Christmas are by Daryl Waters; the musical director is Andrew Resnick; scenic design is by James Schuette; costume design is by Toni Leslie James; lighting design is by Scott Zielinski; and sound design is by Jill BC Du Boff.
Vogel's plays include her Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned To Drive; The Baltimore Waltz; Desdemona, A Play About A Handkerchief; The Oldest Profession; And Baby Makes Seven; Hot 'N Throbbing; The Mineola Twins; and The Long Christmas Ride Home.
For tickets phone (212) 279-4200 or visit nytw.org. NYTW is located at 79 East 4 Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue.
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