HISTORY BECOMES THEATER: The cast of “The Crossing” presenting highlights of the new musical on July 2. (Photo by Matt Matrale, Princeton Battlefield Society)
On July 2, 120 area residents attended the local premiere of excerpts from the musical The Crossing at Princeton Junior School, an event sponsored by the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) to celebrate the Independence Day weekend.
This new show brings to life the events surrounding one the key episodes of our area’s history — Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware and the Ten Crucial Days of December 1776 to January 1777 that culminated in the Battle of Princeton and turned the tide of the American Revolution.
This new musical is the product of a collaboration of experienced theater professionals with historians of the Ten Crucial Days. Led by composer John Allen Watts, lyricist Brian Huza, and director Misti Willis, the cast told the story of men and women behind the major names in history books — Generals Washington, Mercer, Greene, and Knox.
The cast presented the stories of eight ‘ordinary’ people, characters standing in for the several thousand who stepped forward at the darkest point in the Revolution to help secure the survival of a newly independent nation founded on principles of freedom.
This one-hour performance presented the musical highlights of this new production, with songs ranging from ‘Auf Weidersehen’ describing the rout of the Hessians from Trenton, to ‘No More Retreat’, capturing the determination of Washington and his soldiers, and the somber ‘Will They Remember My Name?’, presenting the tragedy of young men dying in battle. Local historians Larry Kidder and Roger Williams were key to the project.
This debut presentation was made possible through the sponsorship of Princeton residents Mark and Rachel Herr and Peter Travers. For more information, visit TheCrossingMusical.com.