Whether you know it or not, Woody Guthrie’s songs are probably some of the first that you ever learned. His music has influenced countless singers and bands that came after him. He left a huge mark on music in America and on the country in general. And now Woody Sez, a musical play about his life, is making its mark on audiences.
There really doesn’t appear to be a bad seat in the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, but Woody Sez is an intimate show and you’ll be rewarded by sitting up close. The set is beautiful, dominated by towering images of middle America from the early 20th century. Instruments like an 1860 Martin 317 parlor guitar, a 1925 German-made ‘Cremona’ fiddle and a 1986 Appalachian dulcimer dot the stage.
From the first note to the last, Woody Sez will have you singing along and swaying in your seat. The four actor/musicians in the show seamlessly melt into Woody’s time and place while still showcasing their own personalities. Instead of imitating Woody playing Woody, they interpret his songs and make them their own, which must not be an easy task.
The show is part musical, part biography, part history lesson, as Woody’s life and work were so intertwined with what was happening in the world when he was in it. Between the world wars, the Great Depression and the fight for workers’ rights, Woody was right in the thick of so many of America’s defining moments.
Woody Sez is an unforgettable performance, a tremendous toe-tapping trip through time.
Who: Woody Guthrie
What: A musical show about his life
Where: American Repertory Theater, Harvard Square, Cambridge
When: Through June 3
Why: It’s an unforgettable show that will leave you singing his songs for days!
More Information: Woody Sez