The Civil War at Ford's Theatre

I went and saw Ford's production of The Civil War on April 12, 2009 (I think that's right, anyway). One of my good friends from college works there as an assistant house manager, so she found me a good seat. The last time I was in that theatre was when I was in 5th grade and went on a field trip to see A Christmas Carol, but it looks almost exactly the same. The lobby got a lovely revamping in the past few years, and it looks really good. They should be really happy with it.

The first thing I always do when I sit down in a theatre is scrutinize the set. This one didn't have much for me to look at. The orchestra had their area in the middle of the stage, and the rest was empty. They did have a surprise for us though, which came up during the performance. I busied myself reading the program and realizing that I knew more people than I thought in the cast. Finally, the lights went down and the show started.

I'll be honest with you and tell you that I don't know how often this has been produced, but this seemed like a pretty unconvential production. No one was costumed in traditional Civil War-era clothing; most looked like they belonged at a rock concert. They almost immediately brought out their surprise - a turntable in the stage. A blue coat and a gray coat came out, and were nicely integrated into the first song, which switches between boys singing about how the Yanks are going to win and boy singing about how the Rebels are going to win. This was essentially a concert version of the show, and I really didn't learn anything about the Civil War itself, but it was a lot of fun. A lot of the people worked on Broadway, and many of them are well-known in DC. The caliber was incredible. I even teared up a couple of times, especially when they did my favorite song from the show, "Tell My Father" - so gorgeous.

The show itself only lasted 85 minutes, but it felt longer, which I find strange. That doesn't usually happen to me. I didn't mind sitting through it, but I usually prefer to have some plot going on in the show instead of just music. Since it was pretty much just a concert, I can't really comment so much on the acting.

All in all, it was a really fun night. I always enjoy seeing my friends up on stage, even if I am incredibly jealous of them for being there.


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