Tony Award winner Alice Ripley is set to star as Mary Todd Lincoln in the upcoming New York Theater Workshop production of Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas. Some psychologists speculate Lincoln suffered from bipolar disorder, just like Ripley’s character Diana Goodman in the musical Next to Normal.
A Civil War Christmas is set on Christmas Eve in 1864 and features reflections on the Civil War as narrated by several historical and fictional characters, including President Lincoln, Walt Whitman and various slaves and Union and Confederate soldiers. Holiday songs of the period, including Christmas carols and hymns are featured in the story. Tina Landau, who directed the show’s premiere in 2008 at the Long Wharf Theater, will direct again.
In addition to Ripley, the cast includes Bob Stillman (Dirty Blonde) as Abraham Lincoln, Tony nominee De’adre Aziza (Passing Strange, Women on the Verge...), Tony nominee K. Todd Freeman (The Song of Jacob Zulu), Sumaya Bouhbal (off-Broadway debut), Chris Henry (Romeo & Juliet), Rachel Spencer Hewitt (Three Sisters), Antwayn Hopper (Hair), Jonathan-David (Iphigenia 2.0), Karen Kandel (Peter and Wendy) and Sean Allan Krill (The Brother/Sister Plays).
Performances are set to begin November 13 and continue through December 30. Opening night is set for December 4.