Woody Sez celebrates the spirit of American folk legend Woody Guthrie, 'America's greatest ballad maker', whose music continues to inspire today's finest storytelling songwriters including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg.
Charismatic Broadway and recording artist David Lutken, who plays the title role, is joined by three multi-talented folk musicians to bring Guthrie's music to life with twin fiddles, guitars, bass, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, dobro and beautiful folk harmonies.
Part music, part words, Woody Sez weaves together Guthrie's songs with excerpts from articles he wrote for the leftist newspaper The People's World to create a portrait of a true American hero, a man who would 'always be there whenever working folks fight for their rights'. As author John Steinbeck wrote 'There is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those willing to listen'. Woody 'wrote and sang the songs of common folks, songs that lifted the spirits of people beaten down by the corporations and the banks'.
David Lutken has been making his living as 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, Texas, 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 in the UK and continental Europe. David began his professional connection with Woody Guthrie and Woody Guthrie Publications in 1988, which led to his creating various folk music/ 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.
The tour has been a resounding success and completes this week in West Yorkshire.
Mon 11th - Wed 13th Feb - Harrogate Theatre - 7.30pm
Thurs 14th - Sat 16th Feb - Theatre Royal, Wakefield - 7.30pm and Saturday matinee 2.30pm
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.