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Civil War voices

"Civil War Voices," a musical by Lincoln attorney Jim Harris, based on the recollections of his Southern great-great-uncle, played at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, in 2011. Shown in this scene are actors (from left) Wendy Piper, Tricia Matthews, Rick McVey, Dan Folino and Eugene Wolf.

“Civil War Voices” will return to Lincoln for the city’s annual Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration in February.

The musical written by local attorney and playwright Jim Harris will be presented Feb. 11-21 at the Haymarket Theatre, 803 Q St.

The musical was presented to a sold-out audience at the Lied Center as part of the city’s Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration in 2009. It has since been performed in 14 states, and has been through two major revisions.

In 2010, “Civil War Voices” won six awards, including Best Production of a Musical at the Midtown International Theater Festival in New York City.

“After seven years of performances in the East and South, it’s exciting to bring the newest version of this outstanding home-grown musical back to Lincoln,” Mayor Chris Beutler said.

Eight performances are scheduled: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-13 and Feb. 18-20, and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 21. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at (Messages can be left at 402-477-2600, but calls may not be answered for up to 24 hours.)

The public is invited to a free preshow birthday party at the theater, 5:30-7 p.m. opening night, Feb. 11.

It will feature free birthday cake, historical exhibits and music from local favorite Chris Sayre, who has performed at every city Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration.

No ticket is required to attend the party, but a ticket is required for those attending the 7:30 p.m. performance.

The musical focuses on five people who lived through the Civil War. A key figure is Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom and became Mary Todd, Lincoln’s personal assistant and closest friend in the White House.

More information is available on the city website at or by calling 402-441-7831. More information on the musical is available at


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