Judy Collins, Stephen Lang, André De Shields Will Take Part in Free Performance of The Civil War in Words and Music
By Michael Gioia
A free performance of The Civil War in Words and Music, sponsored by Cooper Union, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, will be offered Feb. 13 in the Cooper Union Great Hall in New York.
According to Cooper Union, "Words and music of the Civil War era will fill The Cooper Union's Great Hall, site of Lincoln's 1860 'Right Makes Might' speech, in a celebration of the birthday of our 16th president."
The 6:30 PM event will feature Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins, Tony Award nominees Stephen Lang (The Speed of Darkness) and André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty), pop-folk singer-songwriter Dar Williams, members of The Classical Theater of Harlem and nationally renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer.
Collins will perform popular songs of the era, including some of Lincoln's favorites — "Beautiful Dreamer," "Johnny I Hardly Knew You" and The Last Rose of Summer" — as well as composer Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," featuring excerpts from Lincoln's great documents including the Gettysburg Address. Williams will sing as well.
Lang and De Shields return to The Great Hall to reprise their roles as Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, respectively, and engage in a dialogue constructed from historical documents, personal letters and speeches.
Holzer, chairman of the national Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and a consultant on Steven Spielberg's 2012 film "Lincoln," compiled the dialogue and will serve as master of ceremonies.
The Great Hall in the Foundation Building is located at 7 East 7th Street (between Third and Fourth Avenues). For more information, visit Cooper.edu.
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