David M. Lutken Stars in WOODY SEZ: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF WOODY GUTHRIE at Riverside Theatre, 3/7-24


The 2012-2013 Waxlax Second Stage season continues with the musical, Woody Sez, The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie. Devised by David M. Lutkin with Nick Corley, Woody Sez takes the Waxlax Stage from March 7 - 24, 2013 and is sponsored by Riverside Theatre's Patron Producers.

Part music, part words, Woody Sezcelebrates the spirit of folk legend Woody Guthrie, "America's greatest ballad maker". Woody's music defined an American era of social consciousness and political expression with songs like "This Land is Your Land," "The Train is Bound for Glory," "Sinking of the Reuben James," and "The Ballad of Tom Joad." This musical portrait, featuring Woody's stirring ballads and joyous anthems, celebrates the colorful life and rich musical legacy of a tunesmith whose music continues to inspire today's finest storytelling songwriters like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg.

Broadway performer and recording artist David M. Lutken, who plays the title role, is joined on stage by actor/musicians David Finch, Helen Jean Russell and Darcie Deaville to bring Guthrie's music to life. Filled with beautiful folk harmonies, the cast plays a varied collection of instruments - twin fiddles, guitars, bass, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, pennywhistle, and dobro.

Woody Guthrie is one of America's most influential and important folksong writers. Many folks don't know his name or his story, but recognize his songs. A man very much of his time and place, Woody's books, essays, articles, poems lyrics and over a thousand songs contain incredible insights both topical and timeless, introspective and universal. Named in honor of then democratic presidential nominee, Woodrow Wilson, he was born and raised in Oklahoma as the son of a land speculator/politician/merchant and the beautiful, but troubled, daughter of a pioneer school marm, both of Scottish-Irish descent.

Woody's songs and message stand on their own. Molded in the manner of Mark Twain and fellow Oklahoman Will Rogers, Woody's humor and determined hopefulness belie his personal history - his tragic and defiant life, and gives astonishing depth and dimension to his achievements.

David M. Lutken has been a performer in music and theatre for 30 years. As a player of traditional American instruments, folk music comprises a very large part of his repertoire. Born and raised in Dallas, David received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from Duke University. He studied in London at the Royal School of Church Music, the Royal College of Music, and has a graduate degree in acting from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, with the New York City Opera, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and at many international venues. David began his professional connection with Woody Guthrie and Woody Guthrie Publications in 1988, which led to his creating folk music and American history lessons for school children and young adults. His Broadway credits include Inherit the Wind, starring Christopher Plummer, Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical, The Civil War and The Will Rogers Follies. David has performed at Riverside in Midnight Clear and in various Actor Cabarets with his Seat of the Pants Band.

After every Sunday matinee performance, the cast of Woody Sez invites area musicians to participate in a "Hootenanny" in the theatre's lobby. Free to the general public, a "Hootenanny" is an impromptu gathering at which folksingers entertain often with an audience joining in. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and become part of the fun.

Riverside Theatre's production is directed by Nick Corley with Sherry Lutkin (Associate Director), David M. Lutkin (Music Director), Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Scenic Design), Rob Siler (Lighting Design), Jeffrey Meek (Costume Design), Robert Miller Jr. (Stage Manager) and Angela Davis (Assistant Stage Manager).

Woody Sez performs March 7 - 24, 2013 on the Waxlax Second Stage at Riverside Theatre. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or on online at www.riversidetheatre.com.

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday Evenings at 8pm and Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 2pm.

Riverside Theatre is the largest professional producing, not-for-profit theatre in the state of Florida. Riverside Theatre programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Riverside Theatre is a member of the Cultural Council of Indian River County.

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