Sunday, January 7, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "The Honor Of Your Name"

The Civil War is a musical based on the American Civil War (the "civil" one), also known as the War for States' Rights, also known as the War of Northern Aggression, also known as The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down Over and Over and Over. It's based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

No one even remembers why there was a war*, but everyone agrees that there were good people on both sides**.

The musical is more of a song cycle with limited plot and dialogue. Reviews were generally negative: "generic...without plot and essentially without character" is relatively tame. So naturally the show only picked up 2 Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The 1998/99 season was pretty weak; the show, a revue called It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, and the unfortunately titled Parade all lost the Fosse, a revue featuring the life's work of Dian Fossey, the primatologist and conservationist***.

The show's been performed in a variety of non-Broadway settings like Ford's Theater (that seems tacky to us here at Musical Theater Therapy), and in Gettysburg (also tacky, surely that place had seen enough carnage). Its cast members included both Larry Gatlin and John Schneider, and a Winans or two.

And my close, personal friend Trisha Yearwood sang a song on the concept album, and it goes a little something like this...

Today's song is "The Honor of Your Name" and today's lesson is that how you describe the American Civil War says a lot about you as a person. And as a racist. And as a person.

* Slavery.
** Not really; that idea is a way for some to try to avoid being called racist when they act in a racist way or support a racist act.
*** We think it was about her.

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