Home » Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie – Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA

Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie – Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA

Westport Country Playhouse - Woody Sez - Katie Barton, David Finch, David Lutken, Leenya Rideout - by P Chenot
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Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut, is absolutely fabulous! Featuring David M. Lutken, Katie Barton, David Finch, and Leenya Rideout, the show captures the amazing spirit of singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, and activist, Woody Guthrie. Born in1912, Woody Guthrie died in 1967 of Huntington’s Disease, however in those 55 years, what he created and achieved still resonates throughout the world. If you love Americana music, this is one show you will not want to miss. The show runs until January 20, 2018.


Katie Barton, David Finch,
David M. Lutken, Leenya Rideout

Born in a small town in Oklahoma in 1912, he experienced the economic shift that affected America – oil rushes, dust bowls, the migration of people to California in search of work and a better life. By car, rail, foot, and often by thumb, Woody traveled around the country traveling to Texas, California, Oregon, and to New York City multiple times on the shifting winds of prosperity to support his family. Married three times, the early loss of his parents, his siblings, and some of his several children, as well as serving in the Merchant Marine and in the Army during World War II, his life was the fuel for his pen, writing nearly 3,000 song lyrics, publishing 2 novels, writing countless articles, appearing on radio shows, supporting countless causes, and creating art work.

We saw "Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie" at the Westport Country Playhouse on Friday, January 12, 2018, and were duly impressed. Devised by the dream team of David M. Lutken, NickCorley, Darcie Deaville, Helen Jean Russell, and Andy Tierstein, the show is an homage to an American icon – Woody Guthrie.

The heavily credentialed and multi-talented cast capture Woody Guthrie’s talent and amazing spirit through his own words and his music, with the actors singing and playing a range of acoustic Americana instruments including guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jaw harp, harmonica, and dulcimer. David M. Lutken deftly handles the role of Woody Guthrie and delivers a tour de force performance, along with the stellar cast of Katie Barton, David Finch, and Leenya Rideout.

As children, we grew up learning and singing Woody Guthrie songs in school, including This Land Is Your Land, This Train Is Bound For Glory, and many more, and the show reinforces Woody’s timely message through his over 24 songs that remain especially relevant in our current times.

Woody Guthrie’s vast influence on a few of past and present musicians can be best explained through their own words.

"It wasn’t just one song …it was hundreds of songs. It was every day, every person that he encountered. It was all of those little gifts that he gave, that was his work."– Ani DiFrancco

"It wasn’t fantasy. It was a dream. Hey, a dream for more justice, less oppression, less racism, less hatred. Period."– Bruce Springsteen

"I think he must have been a genius."– Jimi Hendrix

"You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live." – Bob Dylan


Westport Country Playhouse - Woody Sez - Katie Barton, David Finch, David Lutken, Leenya Rideout - by P Chenot
Leenya Rideout, Katie Barton,
David M. Lutken, David Finch

Dallas Texas native David M. Lutken writes, "The idea for the show came out of a desire for people in America and around the world to know more about the life of a fellow from my part of the world whom I’ve greatly admired for a long time. Not only his songs, but his life, lifestyle, and the persona he created for himself have all been examined and referenced and imitated for two or three generations now, but "Woody Sez" is an attempt to channel something more through theater. It’s the spirit of the man through his ‘Life & Music’ that I want the audience to feel and see and hear – and ‘get’."

Since the first performance at the 2007 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, "Woody Sez" has continued to delight audiences around the world and has played in over 60 cities in the UK, United States, Europe, the Middle East, and China.

Clearly, people are ‘getting it.’ Bravo to the cast and creative team of Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie on an amazing achievement that would make Woody Guthrie proud.


Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie Cast:

David M. Lutken

Woody Guthrie

Katie Barton

David Finch

Leenya Rideout

The Creative Team:

David M. Lutken


Nick Corley


Darcie Deaville


Helen Jean Russell


Andy Teirstein


Nick Corley


David M. Lutken

Music Direction

Luke Cantarella

Scenic Designer

Jeffrey Meek

Costume Design

Seth Reisner

Lighting Design

Rebecca C. Monroe

Production Stage Manager

Garrett Rollins

Assistant Stage Manager

Brannon Wiles

Production Consultant

Mark Lamos

Artistic Director – WCP

Michael Barker

Managing Director – WCP

Watch a short video of Mark Lamos and David M. Lutken speaking about "Woody Sez": https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=65&v=vGk7wbdvFmQ

Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 pm., Wednesday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm., Saturday at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm. and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBTNight OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday Talk Back, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass.


David M. Lutken, Debra C. Argen - Woody Sez at Westport County Playhouse - Photo by Luxury Experience
Debra C. Argen and David M. Lutken

Show Run Time: 2 hours including a 15-minute intermission.

For information on the play or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at203-227-4177 or call the toll-free number at 888-927-7529, or visit them on the website at www.WestportPlayhouse.org.

The Westport Country Playhouse Box Office is open during Performance Days Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 8:30 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, and is closed on Monday. Non-Performance Days, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 6:00pm, and is closed on Monday.

The Westport Country Playhouse named as "Theatre Company of the Year" in December 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, opened in the 1930s in a transformed 1835 cowbarn, which has, and continues to attract, a "who’s who" of prominent actors. Looking at the framed posters of past shows that line the lobby walls was like entering an encyclopedia of the arts. A few of the many renowned actors who have appeared on the stage there include Ethyl Barrymore, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Don Ameche, Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy, Jane Fonda, Danny Aiello, Blythe Danner, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Lynn Redgrave, Gene Wilder, and Westport residents Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.

"Westport Country Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater, serves as a cultural nexus for patrons, artists and students and is a treasured resource for the State of Connecticut. There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build."

For information on upcoming events and other performances, please visit the website: www.WestportPlayhouse.org.

Family Festivities Performances – 2018


2018 Season

Dates Running

Nuggett & Fang

January 21, 2018

Junie B. Jones

February 11, 2018

Pinkalicious – The Musical

March 11, 2018

How I Became a Pirate

April 15, 2018

Harry The Dirty Dog

May 6, 2018


Upcoming Performances- 2018

Special Event

Woody Sez –

January 9 – 20, 2018

The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie


Plays 2018 Season

Dates Running

Flyin’ West

May 29 – June 16, 2018

A Flea In Her Ear

July 10 – 28, 2018

The Understudy

August 14 – September 1, 2018

Man Of La Mancha

September 25 – October 13, 2018

Thousand Pines

October 30 – November 17, 2018

Westport Country Playhouse - Westport, CT, USA

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court

Westport, Connecticut 06880
United States

Box Office: +1-203-227-4177

Toll-Free: +1-888-927-7529

Fax: +1-203-454-3239

Box Office: +1-203-227-4177

Website: www.WestportPlayhouse.org

Facebook: www.Facebook/WestportCountryPlayhouse

Follow the Westport Country Playhouse on Facebook at www.Facebook/WestportCountryPlayhouse.

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©January 2018. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

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