When it comes to American history, the Civil War remains a topic that's charged with emotion.
So it's disappointing that there's not more passion at the heart of "Ses•qui•cen•ten•ni•al – The Civil War Remembered," a one-man performance by Central Florida storyteller "Country Joe" Rosier.
Depending on the particular show, Rosier's production shines a spotlight on the experiences of two Civil War generals: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. At my performance, the storyteller channeled Grant, envisioning him in 1883 at the 40th reunion of his graduating class at the United States Military Academy.
Visually, Rosier makes a credible-looking approximation of a proud, if somewhat world-weary leader, although Grant's facial characteristics aren't as well known as the profiles of Lincoln, Washington or Jefferson. Sitting at a table, making occasional use of maps on a nearby easel, Rosier could have been more animated, especially in recounting the war's bloodiest battles.
Instead, he demonstrated surprisingly little emotion in his description of the Battle of Shiloh, other than bemoaning that the encounter left him with the nickname "Butcher Grant." Other tales about the general's reluctance to attend military school and his relationship with General Lee also were short on memorable details.
Alas, this is a reunion that might be better to miss.
55 mins. Rated FF. Purple venue.
5-19, 6:15 p.m.
5-20, 6:15 p.m.
5-21, 9 p.m.