Civil War musical takes an interesting approach to its subject:
Reunion: A Musical Epic in Miniature doesn’t try
to capture the entire panorama of North vs. South, instead
focusing on “the dynamics between those fighting the Union’s
Playwright Jack Kyrieleison had plenty to work with, from
staunch Unionists and abolitionists to slave-owning Union
supporters in border states to those (mostly in the Democratic
party) who wanted to accept secession and end the war short
of total victory. And the author did his research, consulting
multiple sources and incorporating period songs. We are
assured that “95 percent of the show’s dialogue is drawn
from diaries, letters, newspapers and speeches of the famous
and anonymous alike.” Though one of the main narrative threads
is Lincoln’s search for a “winning general,” the martyred
president is not portrayed. Instead, there is a mix of historical
figures and fictional, “generalized” characters, from Mrs.
Lincoln’s seamstress to Union generals.
The New York State Theatre Institute’s production of Reunion
opens tomorrow (Friday, May 4) at 8 PM at the Schacht Fine
Arts Center (Russell Sage College, Troy). Performances will
continue through May 19; visit www.nysti.org for showtimes
and details. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors
and students, and $10 for children 12 and under. For reservations,
call the NYSTI box office at 274-3256.
one comes from the “truth is stranger than fiction” file.
Cat’s Tale, a documentary by New York City-based filmmaker
Linda Hattendorf, tells the remarkable story of an elderly,
homeless street artist, Jimmy Mirikitani. Mirikitani paints
all variety of subjects, but his favorite is cats. After
befriending him, Hattendorf discovers that the man has taken
quite a journey to the streets of New York.
Mirikitani was born in Sacramento, Calif., in 1920. His
parents moved back to Japan, however, and Mirikitani spent
his childhood in Hiroshima. Appalled by “rising Japanese
militarism,” the budding artist returned to California in
1938. Guess what happened when World War II started? Mirikitani
was shipped to an internment camp. He made fitful attempts
to restart his art career after the war.
We won’t give away anything else. Variety sums the
film up nicely, in typically abbreviated trade-paper style:
“Always surprising docu makes excellent use of its many
Cat’s Tale will be screened tonight (Thursday, May 3)
and Saturday (May 5) at 7:30 PM at Time & Space Limited
(434 Columbia St., Hudson). There is an additional screening
Sunday (May 6) at 5 PM. Tickets are $7, $5 for members and
students. For more info, call TSL at 822-8448.