Lin-Manuel Miranda created theatrical magic with Hamilton. Now a Long Island creative team hopes for the same magic with……Lincoln!

The Island Now

A new work, “Different, the Lincoln Musical,” will debut on Nov. 13 and 14 at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center (SJJCC) in Greenvale. The team behind Different includes Jericho’s Ken Grossman, playwright/lyricist; Roslyn’s Steve Belfer, composer; and Williston Park’s Rich Buckley, director.

Joining them as producer is Sea Cliff’s Phil Essex who also performs the role of John Wilkes Booth. They have previously worked together and separately on numerous Long Island theatrical productions.

Playwright Grossman said this musical play has been in the works for more than a decade as he and composer Belfer pondered why the intensely written-about Lincoln, possibly “the most fascinating figure in American history” according to Grossman, had never been the subject of an historically accurate musical.

He explained that they aimed to portray Lincoln as the unique individual he was, “someone who saw the world differently than did others.” Further, said Grossman, “this musical is as much about the inner conflicts of its protagonists as it is recounting the actual history.”

Grossman, a lawyer, has focused on presidential history for many years, teaching, writing and lecturing on history and politics. Composer Belfer was the long-time head of the music program at Pierce Country Day School. He has composed and directed many Long Island theatrical ventures. Different continues Grossman’s and Belfer’s local theatrical collaborations.

Rich Buckley, the director for Different, directs musicals at SJJCC and the Star Playhouse in Commack.

Other than Essex as Booth, the leading roles in Different are performed by Solomon Buchman (Lincoln), Karen Santamarita (Mary Todd), Jordan Davis (Frederick Douglas) and Emet Green (Willie Lincoln).

Advance tickets for Different, the Lincoln Musical, running at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14, are immediately available at or by scanning the below QR code. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students up to age 21 and seniors aged 65 and above, plus a nominal service fee. Tickets, as available, will be on sale at the theater prior to each performance.

Consistent with Covid protocols, seating for these performances will be limited to 150 people. All audience members must provide their Excelsior Pass to enter the building and wear a mask through the performance.

Performances of Different, the Lincoln Musical will be held at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, 300 Forest Drive in Greenvale.

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