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The Beat of War 

History provides the best grist for drama because history is inherently dramatic. In our own nation's history, there's really nothing more highly charged with drama and pathos than the Civil War. Playwright Doug Cooney uses this readymade material in his Battledrum, which follows the fortunes of three young Missouri boys, Jackson, Rufus and George, as they experience the trials of the war between the states. Jackson is a drummer in the Union Army, Rufus is a Southern boy and an orphan, and George Washington is an African American boy trying to find his way to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Metro Theater Company stages Battledrum at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (January 10 through 29) at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Tickets are $8 to $16.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 10. Continues through Jan. 29, 2012

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