The Laguna Playhouse is featuring a play about the history of American folk music. Actually, this play is more of a musical journey that uses song to tell the story of the “real” American “man” over four decades (30’s to 60’s). Writer/Director James O’Neil uses an average man, Lonesome (played by Justin Flagg), and his muse (played by Jennifer Leigh Warren) to guide us on this musical journey. With a richly talented cast of singers, musicians and actors, you are literally transported back in time with each song. Featuring some of the all-time favorites songs that have become part of the fabric of American life like including ‘This Land is Your Land,’, ‘Hallelujah, I’m a Bum,’, ‘Goodnight, Irene,’, ‘Puff, The Magic Dragon,’, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and ‘This Little Light of Mine.’
Lonesome and his Muse don’t allow the audience to sit as silent observers, instead they invite us to join in with the singing and remembering. I found myself tapping my toe and singing along with nearly everyone in the audience. It’s hard to sit there and not be moved by the plight of what the music expresses. The feeling of struggle, hardship, hope and heart that comes through from these classic folk tunes is palpable. Following history from the dust bowl depression of the 30’s through the fight for unionization to the anti- Vietnam War movement, I was reminded of how far we’ve have come, and yet, and still how much furtherfar we still have we can to go. I suppose that is the power of music, it can tap into a social consciousness that is looking for a voice and a platform of expression. The cast of musicians and actors are unbelievably talented, recreating greats like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio and many more.
Even though it is only a light brushing on the surface of American folk history, ‘Lonesome Traveler’ is a show that has heart. It reminds us of a common background and plight for equality…and that music is the place that brings us all together.
‘This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie
Now thru February 5th, 2012
For Tickets click HERE
Also join the cast at ‘Folk Music and Fun’ at the Marine Room
Monday, January 30th
5pm to 7pm
$30 (a fundraiser supporting The Laguna Playhouse)
For Tickets click HERE
By Anne-Marie S.