..by Anura Guruge
In my experience, kids can be exposed to the American Civil War at a fairly young age, through a good documentary, a book, artifacts (and muskets tend to be favorites) and exhibitions. Yes, my son, when young, probably 8 or 9 became a Civil War buff and forced me to become one too. This musical, a fictional story told through the eyes of young protagonists, would have been right up his alley. I was delighted to see this in the Hopkins program. I am sure it will do a lot to educate kids (and adults) about the myriad complexities of this War which pitted former friends against each other. The girl masquerading as a drummer boy will enchant the girls. I am sure that my 12 year old would be. I don’t think we will be going to see it, but I am sure it will be brilliant.
Here is the publicity blurb provided by the Hopkings: “Weaving stirring period songs and actual events into a fictional narrative, this gripping new musical shows America’s Civil War through the eyes of young people: a runaway slave who demands the right to fight his own fight; his former best friend and “master”; an Irish immigrant who volunteers to defend his new home; and a girl who masquerades as a drummer boy. A vivid introduction to a momentous historical turning point.”