From the minute he takes the stage, Thomas Jones embodies Woody Guthrie right down to the swagger. This bioptic of Guthrie’s life follows this folk music icon all the way from childhood to the end of his life, and Jones’ has you singing along the entire way.
Jones’ exceptional singing voice is a pleasure to listen to, and expertly captures Guthrie’s style. But Jones’ talent becomes even more apparent as he flexes his vocal cords to speak for, and sing for, the other remarkable characters that appear throughout this one man show.
I have to admit that I was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy the format of a one man show. But Jones’ really proved that one actor can use the entire stage in a way that keeps the audience interested, invested, and hooked into the story.
Be ready to get up close and personal with Jones’ and to make friends with others in the audience (or at least shake their hands). This show is well suited for music lovers of all ages.
Woody Sed by Two Dollar Shows is playing at the Cultch Historic Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe festival.
~ reviewed by Elizabeth Goode
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Hi there, theatre addicts. This is Liz Goode, and I am reporting to you straight from the historic Eastbound Cultch, where I have just seen Woody Sed by Thomas Jones.
Woody Sed is basically a biopic of Woody Guthrie's life, the famous folk singer, see I didn't know anything about him besides that he was someone that my parents would mention or maybe would listen to from time to time, but after seeing this show, I actually really fell in love with him and it's interesting, because some of the songs that he sang are songs that I actually heard my dad singing when I was a kid, so that was super cool.
I was also pretty sceptical, because it's a one-man show and I didn't know what to expect, but Jones does it exceptionally well. He uses the stage in a way that it lets you really feel like you've transitioned between different settings. It's also a super fun show, because he gets you singing, he wants you to join in, he teaches you the chorus, he kinda eggs you on in a really casual, fun manner, which I really enjoyed and I think the rest of the audience did.
I have to say that I was one of the younger people in the room. I think that Woody is a few generations older than me, but I also feel like this is a really valuable show to give younger people an appreciation of the cultural landscape that our parents or grandparents grew up in around World War II. For example, Woody was actually active in the unions and some people accused him of being a Communist.
And it's just so interesting to think about the fact that in today's world, we're sort of having this duality in politics and now you can see that this has always been the case and how this was handled earlier on. But on a less serious note, I would say that one of the best parts of the show is that Woody would walk through the crowd, I mean "Thomas", he was a pretty convincing actor, as you can tell.
He would walk through the crowd and shake hands while singing his famous Howdy song and then he would make audience members stand up and talk to each other and interact with each other and shake hands, which was pretty cool, especially when you're thinking about the audience that comes to the Fringe Festival, which tends to be people who are more open minded to going to shows by themselves, so it was actually really interesting.
I had a really nice time meeting some other people sitting around me and yeah, it was great, but I would just say that if you're shy and you don't wanna interact much with your show, then maybe this show's not for you. Otherwise, I'd say definitely come check it out. It was a late addition, so you're not gonna find it in any of the brochures, but you can find out more online by searching "Woody Sed" S-E-D is how you spell "sed" in this context.
Anyway, this Liz Goode reporting for Theatre Addicts, and I urge you to let me know any thoughts you might have about the show. I would love to hear them. Leave them below in the comments and also, please subscribe to our YouTube channel just to keep update with all the cool things happening during the Fringe Fest and other theatre events around Vancouver.
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