When pressed to describe what happened during A Civil War Christmas at the New York theater workshop, it is possible to lack what to say. But its rather astonishing that I could relate what the two-and-half-hour production is like, surprisingly, I can go on and on about the narcotizing effects that the playwright Paula Vogels political correctness had at least on one audience member. This is a relatively a tight and long drama which is set in Washington dc and its environs during one Christmas Eve of 1864 (Vogel, p. 32). It conveys the emancipation proclamation that was signed a year before America is still at war with herself. The divisions that plague a strife-torn country are not just the only one that is depicted in A Civil War Christians, but from the point of a keen listener, a bountiful stitched tapestry of the Americans lives is in transition in full winter of 1864. The holidays here are traditionally times for festive coming together, the characters depicted in Paulas song trimmed the drama.
In this case, if an individual is willing to trade in the tinsel as well as holly for more profound theatrical contemplation of the season, then it is better to consider Paulas masterpiece. Her holiday play with music that was staged across the country and of the broadway since its debut, which was done in 2008. Union General William Shermans troops have invaded Georgia and as the commander awarded to the newly elected president Abraham Lincoln. One of the evocative elements is presented by the fact that celebration is underway and merrymaking take the streets. What was it to celebrate while more than 600,000 soldiers both the union and confederate are lost in the battle? What could have been the mood in the US capital, which was starkly divided and was yet to make peace with herself?
Precisely, in a civil war Christmas, Vogel presents an image of what Yuletide mean to be an array of several historical as well as fictional figures amongst whom are Lincoln and his wife marry Todd. The comic cameos are thus enriched with music from the same period including African spirituals, marching songs and Christmas carols (Vogel, p. 34). Vogel was raised in the greater Washington dc where presumably anyone which grows there is an amateur civil war historian. Therefore, the capital setting was for her natural. The play unfolds on Christmas Eve, and particularly during the search of for Christmas tree hover, the trees are difficult to find because they were felled to keep the troops warm. According to the director of the local production Faith Benet, the theater chooses to depart from its traditional Christmas fare due to the political polarization within America. Vogels assertions that she is eager to look at both class and race in a historical context primarily to acknowledge the lesser known stories of African Americans (Vogel, p. 35). These workers built the white house and other government houses when they were slaves, but those who achieved their freedom were pleased.
It would, therefore, be impressive for any audience member to learn the names of as well as the details of the many historical figures presented in this play. Thought the play is regional and not a national premiere, Reps version still claims a first with the approval of playwright Paula Vogel. They have artistically made a fresh musical arrangement of the various carols, battle hymns, spirituals, and folk ballads that accompanies the show. The qualities, as well as the tightness of the play performance, are yet to be paralleled by the artistic imaginations, but this is not much surprising as the show singers are a live band. On the whole, when ensemble casts are assigned the music in the play that is not wholly musical but the last few parts usually tend to shuffle into place during the run.
For this play, the new arrangements brought exciting embellishment and arresting the variation to the origin of the music. There is a suspenseful and halting when the play climax with excellent tones calling What child is this making the audience on the edge of their seats just before a whirling into a key crescendo-building frenzy (Vogel, p. 41). Throughout, a minor to major transitioning Yellow Rose of Texas gives the piece new emotional range. Several of civil war Christmass best moments are buoyed by the background music, which is played expertly on flute, cello, percussion, and torn apart piano. When these elements gradually swell into a song, the effects are the pure musical magic that will evoke emotions. A civil war Christmas thus conveys events that are part of the culture of Baltimore are. The culture is somewhat very confusing because the music it ensued can be heard every year without knowing its background. Its production has risen to great poignancy as it brings rich contexts to what people may have taken for granted or listened to without thinking beyond (Vogel, p. 42). It presents everything an individual would crave for in a holiday since its inclusiveness encompasses storytelling of the famous and the forgotten as well as different ethnicities and religions.
Vogel, Paula. A Civil War Christmas. Theatre Communications Group, 2012.
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