The best thing about "Woody Sez: the Words, Music & Spirit of Woody Guthrie," a musical presented by Lyric Theatre at Lyric at the Plaza, is that the show is unamplified.
That means the music in "Woody Sez" goes unmolested by electronic alteration, directly from string and vocal cord through the air to eardrum. With the impeccable acoustics of the Plaza Theatre "? where you could hear a guitar pick dropping on a sponge "? the sound of acoustic instruments and pure voices is beautiful to hear.
But this fine account of the life and music of Guthrie has much more to offer, including an excellent concept by the creators and terrific execution by the performers. "Woody Sez" was "devised" by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley, and over a brisk 90 minutes, they share the life story of the Okemah-born composer, folk singer and union activist.
INFLUENTIAL FOLK MUSICIAN
Much of the material comes from Guthrie's autobiography, "Bound for Glory," but Lutken and Corley also include parts left out of his book, presenting both the triumphs and tragedies of a hard but ultimately successful life. Undoubtedly, Guthrie, who died in 1967, was the most influential folk musician of his day.
Lutken plays Guthrie and narrates the story, while Darcie Deaville, Helen J. Russell and Andy Teirstein play various characters in Guthrie's life. All are fine actors and top-notch musicians. Playing fiddles, guitars, autoharp, harmonica and other instruments, the cast nails the songs with