Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Postcards From Washington, D.C. - Lincoln Day (Part 3)

Today I'll wrap up the third and final installation of my three part blog post relating our sightseeing in Washington D.C. relative to Abraham Lincoln.  In Lincoln Day (part 1) we toured Lincoln's Cottage and the Ford's Theatre and museum.  You can read that post here.  Then in Lincoln Day (part 2), we walked across the street and visited the Peterson House where Lincoln died.  Catch up on that post here.

In the evening of our Lincoln Day, we returned to Ford's Theatre to see a show.  When I was researching the details of our trip and discovered that this historic theatre is still in use, I immediately ordered tickets.  The scheduled show of the day was "Driving Miss Daisy."  I had somehow missed the movie of the same name when it came out years ago, but I had heard that Sally Fields and Morgan Freeman played fabulous parts as the two leads.

The stage is set.
Of course, photos were not allowed during the show, so I'll have to just relate what we saw.

Acclaimed WAshington stage actors Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace played the two main characters, Daisy and Hoke.  When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard working chauffeur Hoke Colburn to look after her. 

Cover of the playbill
 What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta.  With humor and heartfelt emotion, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play poignantly explored the transformative power of true friendship.

This production was truly one of the most enjoyed and well done play we have seen in several years.  Truly, this was a heartwarming tale of two people crossing cultural borders and coming to an understanding and respect for each other.  Our world needs more of this message in these current days.  For the entire ninety minutes, we were spellbound, and easily moved back and forth several times from laughter to tears.  

In 1861, theatre manager John T. Ford leased out the abandoned First Baptist Church on Tenth Street to create Ford's Theatre.  Over the next few years, the venue became a popular stage for theatrical and musical productions.  On April 14, 1865 - almost 150 years ago - Abraham Lincoln visited Ford's for a performance of "Our American Cousin."  

During that performance, Lincoln was shot by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.  He died the next morning in the Peterson House, a boarding house located directly across the street.  

Upon doing a little research, I found that there were three different ticket prices for the production of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre the night of the assassination:

     Orchestra (main level, chair seating) - $1.00 
     Dress Circle (first balcony, chair seating) - $ .75

     Family Circle (second balcony, bench seating) - $ .50

Now take a look at my ticket from the performance on the evening of October 14, 2014, almost 150 years later.  We were seated in the Dress Circle area, nowadays called the Loge.

In case you cannot see it clearly, the ticket price was $50.00 (plus fees).

Although we've seen shows on Broadway and elsewhere that were more expensive than this one, we felt that every penny was worth it for this fine production.  

Added to that, I must say it simply felt surreal sitting in the same theatre, and looking into the seating area where Abraham Lincoln sat and was shot.  I have read about his assassination many times in school history books, but actually being there where it all happened was something else that one can not get from reading about it. 

This definitely is one of those DON'T MISS ITS if you are ever in the Washington D.C. area.  Seeing this show was a fitting way to cap off our Lincoln Day.

Next:  Seeing the money!  (Bureau of Printing and Engraving)  

1 comment:

  1. Ford's Theater is really a must see, as you have said. I loved visiting it.