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Lincoln Mania Continues

Categories: Arts
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Celebrate with Abe and Mary!
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Lincoln's Birthday was last month. We've had it with the tall dude. We only care about George Clooney now.

Thank you, thank you. I will be quitting my job here any day now and signing on with the Psychic Friends Network.

But the good folk at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum up in Springfield haven't gotten the Clooney memo. (If they're into any movie star right now, it's probably Liam Neeson anyway, since he's rumored to be the star of Steven Spielberg's upcoming Lincoln-palooza on film.) Their Lincoln celebration will go on all year.

Last week, in fact, they sent us a press release touting the play One Destiny by Richard Hellesen, which concerns the aftereffects of You Know Who's assassination on the cast and crew of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. According to the press release, "Harry Hawk -- the actor who was performing onstage when the president was shot -- revisits the night of April 14 with Harry Ford, the theatre's manager."

Fun fact: Hawk's line, "You sockdologizing old man-trap!", was possibly the last thing Lincoln ever heard. It was the biggest laugh line in the play. (Remember, this was before YouTube and even the movies, and entertainment options were limited.) John Wilkes Booth had hoped that the resultant burst of laughter would cover up the sound of his gun going off. It didn't.

Anyhoo, tickets to the play are free with museum admission. Performance dates are erratic (call the museum at 800-610-2094) but all shows begin at 1:30 p.m.

While you're there, check out artist Don Pollack's "Lincoln Project". It's not entirely clear what it is -- the museum's Web site claims "the project seeks to have a conversation with painting, photography, history, and art history and includes painted landscapes, portraits, maps, and documents" -- but Pollack himself will be on hand to explain tomorrow evening, March 11.

More interesting to my mind -- in the "why the hell didn't I think of that?" sense -- is "Lincoln in Post-It Notes" by Chicago artist Chris Killham, a series of portraits of the great man executed in... Oh, gee you're smart. I didn't really have to say "colored Post-Its" did I?

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