Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Theaterworks USA's Children's Musical Civil War is Free

Theatreworks USApresents the Off-Broadway premiere of the new children's musical The Civil War as the 25th Anniversary production of the company's annual Free Summer Theatre Program.

The show opens at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) Thursday and continues through Friday, Aug. 6.

THE CIVIL WAR is the story of people from different backgrounds fighting for the future of the nation - both sides believing they are fighting for freedom. Incorporating traditional songs from the period and many different character perspectives, this historical musical brings to life for the next generation of young people a major event in the history of our country. 

Directed by Jonathan Silverstein and choreographed by Tracy Bersley, THE CIVIL WAR features a book and additional lyrics by Arthur Perlman with arrangements and additional music by Jeff Lunden. Adam Fontana stars as Will, Max Kumangai as Zac, Alyse Alan Louis as Jackie, Jim Stanek as Johnny, and Michael Thomas Walker as Sarge. Understudies are Zach Bencal, Sara Glancy and Aaron Wright.

The production features scenic design by Kevin Judge, costume design by Sydney Maresca, lighting design by David Lander and the sound design by Carl Casella. Logan Culwell serves as music director and the production stage manager is Byron F. Abens.

Launched in 1989, the mission of Theatreworks USA's Free Summer Theatre Program is to provide New York City youth with their own theatre tradition that not only entertains, but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre. This summer 15,000 free tickets will be distributed to The Civil War.

TICKETING AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis in-person at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Box Office (121 Christopher Street) on the day of the performance. Tickets for each day's performances will be distributed beginning one hour prior to the first performance of the day. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per adult per day. The show is a 60-minute, one-act musical recommended for children ages 8 and up. 

The performance schedule is as follows: Monday through Friday at 10:30 am and 1 pm; Sundays at 2 pm;
Dark on Saturdays. SCHEDULE EXCEPTIONS: There are no 1 pm performances July 15-17 and no 10:30 am performance on Thursday, July 18. There are added 6 pm performances on Thursday, Aug. 1 and Thursday, Aug. 15. (No free tickets are available for the opening night benefit, Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 pm.).Summer camps, youth programs and social service organizations can make reservations for groups of fifteen (15) or more by calling 212.627.7373.

Because Theatreworks USA accepts reservations from summer camps, individual tickets are extremely limited for the weekday daytime performances. Reservations cannot be made by the general public unless making a donation: For every $50 you donate, you are entitled to one reserved VIP seat for the performance of your choice (excluding the opening night benefit on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 pm). Limit 10 tickets per order. No exchanges or refunds. For more information, call 212.647.1100 x131 or email development@twusa.org.
 
Availability is better for evening and weekend shows, which are entirely open to the public. Once all group tickets are distributed, any remaining patrons will be admitted at curtain time on a space-available basis. For more information, please visit www.TWUSA.org.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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