Woody Sez closed out its wonderful encore run with a Standing Room Only performance and an equally packed hootenanny on December 14th that spoke volumes about the reasons for gathering to celebrate story and song. We’ve said it before, quoting Pete Seeger: The Power of Singing Together. You can feel it here, in this generous clip recorded by Lois Fingerhut, take in our DCJCC Community Hall – over 120 singers joined by 8 guitars, 4 banjos, a bass, mandolin, harmonica, spoons, clicking cup; you name it, it was assembled for our final hoot, as we sang “Woody’s Children” led by Doug Mishkin.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSEIRkDciJM&feature=youtu.be]
And we got the joint warmed up with Dylan and more Seeger.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xBPb068i1s&feature=youtu.be]
As we wrote in the program…
We wanted Woody back even before Theatre Washington offered its Helen Hayes endorsements because we knew this show had captured something special during last year’s rousing DC premiere. Perhaps it was the power of the inspired hootenannies after many a sterling performance. Perhaps it was the clapping together in the theater, or the collective movement to tears when Woody loses his mom, or when his mom returns just as Woody loses his own control of locomotion; the fine circularity of this deceptively rich and beautifully structured show. It was a show that brought us together. After so much that’s pulled us apart as a nation—including art keeps asking provocative questions of us a community; these are times that have tested our mettle, our values, our cohesiveness—Here’s a show to bring about some binding. Here’s a troubadour—admired and widely recognized—bringing empathy and identification to the anonymously forgotten; to the nameless and the downtrodden. We wanted to be around that generous spirit that was Woody Guthrie and this wonderfully generous tribute to him just a little bit longer; to make our connection to Woody’s triumphant, enduring legacy that much stronger.
Long may we be inspired. To sing. And speak out.