November 23, 2009

A Civil War Christmas - Audience Comments

Paula Vogel gives us plenty to think about in A Civil War Christmas. What were you thinking about on the way home after you saw the play? Did you attend a post show discussion? What comments surprised you? What elements of the play struck you as most profound or interesting? Race issues, the history, or the style of the production, the music, the design? We would love to hear your thoughts and reactions to other comments. Please join the conversation and share your ideas - click here to comment.




Uzo Aduba (Hannah) and Alanna T. Logan (Jessa) in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration playing now through December 13 at the B.U. Theatre. 


A Civil War Christmas - An American Musical Celebration by Paula Vogel. Music supervised, arranged, and orchestrated by Daryl Waters. Directed by Jessica Thebus. At the Huntington Theatre Company's main stage; The Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston MA, 02115. Runs November 13 through December 13, 2009. Box Office 617 266-0800 or buy online at HuntingtonTheatre.org

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

My wife and I attended the 11/22 2:00 PM matinee and both wondered why the playwriter (or director) chose to have a women play the role of Raz? And have a man play the role of Mrs. "?" (forgot the name - a minor role? There were many women who could have played that role?

Any thoughts

Todd Williams said...

In response to Anonymous and the question about Raz and Mary Surrat:

Another patron raised a similar question about the cross gender casting on another post. You can read a response from our Literary Associate by visiting here

Anonymous said...

if you would like to see our greatest president made to look like a bumbling buffoon ....this is the show for you

John Melithoniotes said...

A very earnest play, with good bits of singing (bits only -- we don't hear the entire songs). It all seems well-intentioned and instructive. But the characters, perhaps aside from sergeant Bronson, and Mrs. Lincoln, are pretty thin. Too many stories going on. This didn't add up to much of a theater experience for me.

Robert said...

When we left the play, we had a “good” laugh. In this mishmash of a Christmas tale, everyone survives difficult circumstances. Only one person is killed, the Jew, Moses Levy, after he is subjected to Mrs. Lincoln’s crooning “Silent Night” to him.
The playwright might have thought that he was being ecumenical by the skillful weaving of the Kaddish into a Christmas Carol, but in truth this was as offensive as any Oberammergau pageant in Germany. You unwittingly fell into the lie of ecumenism. How can Christianity and Judaism ever be at peace when the center of the Christian narrative is the human sacrifice of the Jew? You taught that well here. Moses Levy is sacrificed on a Christian altar so that everybody else in the play can come through their perilous night to have a Happy Christmas!

Todd Williams said...

Hi all -

Robert Jesurum, a Huntington subscriber, emailed me and asked that we add his last name to his comment (above). I don't have the ability to do exactly that - but Robert, I hereby declare your anonymity removed.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

You raise a very interesting issue. I know that the character of Levi is often discussed at our post show talks. I'm not sure what Paula Vogel intended when writing Levi, but am sure she would appreciate your perspective.

Judith said...

Thank you Robert! I'm so glad I didn't stay for the second act: the first was filled with cliches and ridiculous dialogue (poor Clara Barton and Mrs. Lincoln - were they really that inane?) When Walt Whitman appeared wearing his cotton-ball beard, I was embarrassed for the actors. If you want to experience a Christmas filled with gorgeous language and enormous love, see A Child's Christmas in Wales at the Boston Center for the Arts. Fine acting too, as at the Huntington, but with a vehicle worth producing.

rnskier on Goldstar said...

I enjoyed this production very much. I am not one for musicals but do like history, and felt it was a good balance. Lots of the lines were spoken, so it was appealing to me for that reason. I loved the whole tone of the play and thought the performers were outstanding. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for some holiday spirit and goodwill towards all.

Jack Kavanagh from Brookline, MA on ArtsBoston.org said...

This performance was excellent- the singing outstanding. I have been a student of the Civil War for many years and I could find no flaws- just an enjoyable evening. The casting was perfect.

Samantha Browne from Arlington on ArtsBoston.org said...

I really liked this show. I liked the authentic Civil War era carols and songs and I thought the acting was very genuine and heartfelt. Had a lot of funny moments and was overall a touching play.