Timely 'Shenandoah' reflects war attitudes


The Towsontowne Dinner Theater is currently doing "Shenandoah," a musical that is most timely, dealing, as it does, with war. The war in this instance, is the Civil War, and the musical, one that began as a film in 1965 (James Stewart starred), is initially anti-war then pro.

The leading character is a Virginia farmer who doesn't want any of his six sons to enter the war. He insists it is not his affair. "I don't own slaves," he says.

In time, the war comes to him, and when it does, he and his sons join the fight.

F. Scott Black directed the Towsontowne production, and it's a rather nice one. It could use a little more tightening, but most of the cast is strong, the dancing is particularly good, and it's good to hear those songs again.

David Shannon is the patriarch, Shawn Patrick Doyle is James, the oldest son, Liz Boyer is the woman married to James, Laurie Lynn Sentman is sister to the six boys, and Todd Sharkey is the young man who wants to marry her. All do particularly well with word and song.

"Shenandoah," which was musicalized for the stage in 1974, has a score written by Peter Udell (lyrics) and Gary Geld (music)

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