BWW Reviews: LONESOME TRAVELER at 59E59 is Performance Perfection
"One of the traditions of our music is that we're free to borrow from the past." -Lonesome Traveler
Lonesome Traveler is a completely inspiring musical and theatrical experience. Written and directed by James O'Neil, he has created a true gem. See it now through April 19th at 59E59 in their intimate theater space, perfect for the show.
Lonesome Traveler celebrates the enduring popularity of folk music, presenting an insightful view of the roots that are embedded in our culture. It also presents a historical timeline that connects songs and society. The show cleverly traces the music from the backwoods of Appalachia and the beginnings of the recording industry to the nightclubs of New York using songs, video projection and a narration by the performing artists. You may forget that you are in a theatre, as the club scenes are wholly authentic.
When the nine charismatic singer/musicians come to the stage, the connection between the audience and the performers is immediate and it lasts throughout the entire show. Lonesome Traveler's truly gifted performers posess remarkable instrumental and vocal versatility. The cast consists of Matty Charles, Sylvie Davidson, Jamie Drake, Justin Flagg, Samuel Gelfer, Anthony Manough, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, Jennifer Leigh Warren and Trevor Wheetman. They each assume multiple roles and make their character transitions absolutely seamlessly. Solo performances shine while duos and trios display a perfect collective.
Iconic folk singers are perfectly portrayed including Pete Seger, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Judy Collins, The Weavers, The Kingston Trio, Ian and Sylvia and Peter, Paul and Mary. And, you'll even be invited to sing along to favorites like "Tom Dooley," "Goodnight Irene" and "This Land is Your Land."
Gather your group and see Lonesome Traveler. The show strikes the perfect chord and doesn't miss a beat. The two acts fly by making you wish there would be a third. One of the final comments in the show is "Coming together is a gift" and this show is truly a gift to metropolitan area audiences.
Lonesome Traveler features arrangements by Tony Award-nominee Dan Wheetman and orchestrations by George Grove of the The New Kingston Trio. Wheetman is also the Musical Director for the show's New York City run.
The design team includes scenic and lighting design by Thomas S Giamario, sound design by Jonathan Burke, costume design by Pamela Shaw, multimedia design by Dave Mickey, hair and wig design by Marty Kopulsky, prop design by T. Theresa Scarano and the Production Stage Manager is Linda M. Tross.
Lonesome Traveler is on stage through Sunday, April 19th at 59E59 located at 49 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022. For information and ticketing call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59E59.org.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg