“Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Acclaimed Musical ‘Hank Williams: Lost Highway’
At Silver Spur Theater, 8 p.m., Feb. 19, 2 p.m. Feb. 20
Tucker Peterson’s voice, picking, with local artists and actors, tell troubled story
SALADO, TEXAS (Feb. 11, 2011) – The songs of the legendary Hank Williams will fill the Silver Spur Theater at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb 20 as Sonnen Productions brings its adaptation of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” to Salado.
“The musical features a cast of talented musicians and actors, but largely rests on the shoulders of country artist Tucker Peterson’s distinctive voice and old-style guitar-picking. He weaves a wandering path through the troubled life of Hank Williams and songs that have captivated a century of artists since,” said Grainger Esch, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Silver Spur Theater,
“Casting soulful shadows on this path – like the influence Rufus ‘Tee-Tot’ Payne had on Hank’s music – is the versatile, songbird voice of Paul Puckett, who portrays the mentor-friend,” Esch said.
The play, written by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik, enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run in 2003, garnering rave reviews. New York Post critic Donald Lyons declared it “the best example of a musician’s bio put on stage” that he had ever seen.
“Lost Highway” treats mature audiences to an evening of the music they grew up loving and gives all ages a chance to witness the highs and lows of one of country music’s most storied singer/songwriters.
Admissions are $15 with $12 discount tickets for seniors, military and students. Sunday matinee tickets are $10 and $8. Children’s tickets are $8 both shows. Group rates are available for either event. For reservations, call the box office at 254-947-3456. For directions or more play info, visit www.saladosilverspurtheater.com. Wine, beer, cider and expanded food choices will be available at the evening show through The Spuradical Social Club in the lobby. http://www.spuradicalsocialclub.net/
“Although tinged with the sadness of Hank Williams’ untimely death, the play ultimately reinforces his immortality,” Esch added. “His music lives forever in our hearts due to its simplistic greatness. I believe audiences will be left with the glow of that undying musical legacy.”
Peterson’s Story . . . Area Musicians, Actors
As an eight-year-old, Peterson walked many a mile to play his cousin’s guitar, “Your Cheatin’ Heart” being one of the first songs he ever learned. He once played the song over and over into the wee hours of the morning to comfort a friend grieving the loss of his father. He says he has never tired of the tune.
Thanks to the touring company and adaptation of the original show, audiences across Texas and other states are once again enjoying the country great from Alabama.
Paterson, a versatile entertainer, has opened concerts for the likes of Johnny Lee, the Bellamy Brothers and Billy Joe Shaver. A talented singer/songwriter in his own right, with two CDs and a third near completion, he identifies heavily with Williams, who struggled with the desire for a simple life versus the demands of being a country singer.
The only two places Williams was comfortable was out fishing, in the middle of nowhere, or behind a microphone, “in the middle of everywhere,” says a band member in the play.
Although “Lost Highway” depicts Williams’ pain and hardships, a jubilance shines through the evening as his indelible songs are interwoven with the portrayal of the lighter moments of his life, such as his days of singing in church, his band’s first paying gig and his acceptance at the Grand Ole Opry.
Puckett as Tee-Tot, who instilled the love of the blues in an admiring young Hank, is himself a singer/songwriter. His long-perfected vocals underscore the movement of the play from Williams’ childhood to fame and beyond. Glen Pfeiffer, Robert Fortier, Dana Bennett and Kenneth Davis bring their musical and dramatic talents to the play as they portray the Drifting Cowboys.
Pfeiffer, a Temple native, was originally a percussionist who attended college on a music scholarship, but has since mastered the guitar, keyboard, bass guitar and upright bass. He has served as the backbone and backbeat of the Tucker Peterson Band since 2007 and lends that same nature in his depiction of “Hoss,” Williams’ bass player and close friend.
Fortier, heads up his own Christian metal group, as well a classic rock cover band and an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band, which has opened shows at the House of Blues in Dallas. Fortier plays the wise-cracking lead guitar player “Burrhead.”
Fiddle and mandolin player Bennett is also a multitalented member of three bands, helped form the Woodbury Opry in the early ‘60s, which later became the Peoria Opry. He portrays the soft-spoken Leon that Williams nicknames “Loudmouth.”
Playing Shag is a man who fell in love with the steel guitar when he first saw iconic Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys at the state fair in Dallas. Davis went on to become proficient at the instrument, going so far as to open for Marty Stuart, as well as playing in the backup band for Thompson.
Two actors who have carved a name for themselves at the Bosque Arts Center Tin Building Theatre in Clifton, Walt Lewis and Anne West. fill the roles of the other guiding influences on Williams’ life. Lewis lends a father figure to the play as Hank’s manager, Fred “Pappy” Rose, while West portrays Williams’ mother.
Rounding out the cast are two newcomers, Susan Fortier as Audrey, and Shelley Slayton as the waitress. Fortier plays the ambitious wife and love of Hank’s life. Slayton voices the feelings of many as she listens on her radio and describes what Williams meant to her, thus capturing the essence of what Williams meant to his many adoring fans . . . then and now.
About the Silver Spur Theater: The seven-year-old, professional playhouse is located in the renovated Guest and Sanford Granary & Feed Co. in Salado, a few blocks from the IH-35 Corridor. The Spur delights in reviving a bygone era of family entertainment, offering its trademark blend of live vaudeville acts, live music, plays and classic cinema. Weddings, reunions, business conferences, concerts, field trips, dances, even customized private shows are held in the first class venue, with catering available from the Stagecoach Inn and nearby restaurants.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR INTERVIEWS:
Judi Boston, Assistant Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grainger Esch, Executive Dir., Salado Silver Spur Theatre, 254- 947-3456; email@example.com
Preston F. Kirk, APR, Kirk Public Relations, Austin, TX, 830-693-4447; firstname.lastname@example.org
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