BWW Reviews: Jaston Williams & Joe Ely's LIFE AFTER LUBBOCK Shines Big and Bright
Giving the show an incredible down home charm, the set for the production is a coffee table and two comfortable looking leather chairs. The stage resembles a stereotypical Texas living room, inviting the audience to kick back and relax with the two gentlemen. Additionally, in both the first and second acts they open the show to the audience and invite questions. We are brought into the conversation, which really makes the whole experience feel like everyone in attendance is a friend dropping by for a visit.
Joe Ely, performing at The Grand 1894 Opera House for the first time, strums the guitar and sings with charm and charisma, filling the auditorium with the much-appreciated dulcet crooning tonality of Texas music. Prior to the production, I was not familiar with his artistry, but I quickly became a fan of his skill and talent. Joe Ely is one of Texas' brightest stars in our pantheon of celebrities, and even in the laid back setting he proves his mettle and impresses with his lyrical sincerity and musical craftsmanship. Furthermore, he shares his own autobiographical anecdotes, proving he is also a master storyteller.
As usual, Jaston Williams' stories leave the audience rolling in the aisles and feeling wonderfully uplifted. Every shared vignette from his life is told in such a way that he could make the most mundane experience sound extraordinary. As Joe Ely and Jaston Williams have further developed IS THERE LIFE AFTER LUBBOCK?, he has recently added a story about his mother's social obligations during tornado season. The one story in particular is nothing short of uproarious. Also, his final story about playing with the mud in his backyard is wonderfully inspirational.
No stranger to The Grand 1894 Opera House, Jaston Williams plans to return with a new show this spring. Additionally, I know I'm not alone in hoping that Joe Ely will be performing in the iconic venue again in the near future. Be sure to keep with Joe Ely by visiting http://www.joeely.com or following him on Facebook, YouTube, or MySpace. Also, never miss the exciting going-ons at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston by visiting http://www.thegrand.com or following them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.