Opus 1861: The Civil War in Symphony Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 13 2012

The lives of modern-day American soldiers are juxtaposed with Civil War-era songs in this second of five shows City Lit Theater is staging to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. The music is the most compelling part. Accompanying themselves on everything from banjo to pennywhistle, cast members harmonize beautifully to tunes such as "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." Between songs they recite letters sent home by today's soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Written with fierce pride—and, sometimes, touching immaturity—the letters capture the high morals and patriotism of many young warriors. Still, I wished for a wider range of viewpoints. While some 150-year-old lyrics express disenchantment with war and its consequences, a similar questioning isn't conveyed by the contemporary voices. —Marissa Oberlander

Price: $18-$25

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