Northlight Opens Season With Woody Sez – The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie Beginning Sept. 14th

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, presents Woody Sez – The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, devised by David M. LutkenandNick Corley, directed byNick Corley. The production runs September 14 – October 21, 2012 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd.

The legendaryWoody Guthriedefined an American era of social consciousness and political expression with songs like “This Land is Your Land” and “The Ballad of Tom Joad.” This musical portrait, featuring more than 30 of Woody’s stirring ballads and joyous anthems, celebrates the colorful life and rich musical legacy of America’s great folk troubadour.

Northlight is proud to honor this American legend during his Centennial year.


Artistic Director BJ Jones comments, “In 1991, our audience enjoyed Woody Guthrie’s American Song which won the Jeff Award for best musical. Now to celebrate his 100th birthday, we bring this fresh take onWoody Guthrieto the Northlight stage. Created by and starring world class artistDavid Lutkenand directed by Broadway’sNick Corley, Woody Sez is a celebration of the musicality and social conscience of one of America’s greatest troubadours. It resurrects Woody’s spirit of hope and fierce American determination.”

The cast includes Darcie Deaville,David Finch,David M. Lutken, and HelenJean Russell.

Designers includeLuke Hegel-Cantarella(Set Design), Jeffrey Meek (Costume Design),Chris Binder(Lighting Design), and Rick Sims (Sound Design).Rita Vreelandis the stage manager, and Kristin Leahey is the dramaturg.

David M. Lutken(Ensemble/Co-Creator) Originally from Dallas, Texas, David studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts and, as a boy, at the Royal School of Church Music. He has performed in Europe and the United Kingdom, at Lincoln Center,Carnegie Halland in his adopted home state of Louisiana is the principal banjoist for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Broadway: Inherit the Wind (2007 Revival), Ring of Fire, The Civil War, TheWill RogersFollies. NY City Opera: Paul Bunyan. Off-Broadway: Stars In Your Eyes, The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show,Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Winterman. Regional: Man of La Mancha, Elmer Gantry, Finian’s Rainbow, Big River, Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Love List, Death in England, On Golden Pond, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Fire On The Mountain, Stand By Your Man, and In The Deep Heart’s Core.

Darcie Deaville (Ensemble) Born in Toronto to bush helicopter/journalist parents, Darcie left home at 16, making her living as a Toronto street musician, and has since toured from the Yukon Territories to Central America, Europe and the Far East. Now based in Austin, Texas, Darcie is well-known for her fiery fiddling and singing her American roots based songs, and working with artists including Ani di Franco, Tom Paxton, Mary Gauthier, David Lindley, Eliza Gilkyson, and Slaid Cleaves. A multi-instrumentalist, Darcie’s was the first woman (and first Canadian) to enter the National Flatpicking Championships in Windfiled KS, taking her place in the top 10. A writer, producer, musical director and coach, Darcie’s theatre work includes multiple productions of Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Back Bog Beast Bait, Cottonpatch Gospel, and Always, Patsy Cline. The latest of her five CDs is called Livin’ on the Lucky Side (Taller Dog Music). Darcie is currently in a band called the Austin Lounge Lizards.

David Finch (Ensemble) An actor/musician specializing on strings and horns, David has played from New York’s Lincoln Center to San Francisco’s Castro Theater beside artists as diverse as Alan Cumming, Amanda Palmer,Tony Bennett,Justin Bond, andDee Snider. He most recently performed inAmerican Repertory Theatre’s production of Cabaret and will return this winter for Prometheus Bound, with music by System Of A Down front man Serj Tankian. Mr. Finch appeared in the US premiere of Woody Sez (Lyric Theatre, Oklahoma City) and in its run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009. Broadway: the Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret (directed by Sam Mendes). Off-Broadway: Fame the Musical, and the New York premiere ofTennessee Williams’ sixty year old play Spring Storm. National and International Tours: Cabaret and Fame the Musical. Regional:Hank Williams’ Lost Highway, Grapes of Wrath, 1940’s Radio Hour, Fiddler on the Roof, Buddy: TheBuddy HollyStory and Cotton Patch Gospel.

Helen Jean Russell (Ensemble) began her affiliation with Woody and Mr. Lutken in 1993, joining the cast ofWoody Guthrie’s American Song at the Pope Theater in Manalapan, Florida, and continued as a member of the cast for its 1994 European debut at Vienna’s English Theatre. Along with David and Darcie, she toured with David’s show for children, This Land Is Your Land:Woody Guthriein American History, visiting more than 49 cities in Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic, bringing Woody to thousands of high school English students. She happily joined the cast of Woody Sez for its 2007 debut in Edinburgh and for subsequent performances throughout the U.K. and Europe, and for its American premiere in Oklahoma City. Based in New York City, she is a publishing consultant and teaches piano to adults. Her debut album, Holly Days, was released in November 2008 and a second EP of folksongs was released in December 2011.

Nick Corley(Director/Co-Creator) directed Woody Sez for its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the European tour and American engagements. Other world premieres include Off-Broadway productions of Tall Grass, Flight (Callaway Award Nomination), Fables In Slang, The Civil War (Houston’sAlley Theatre), Eliot Ness…In Cleveland (also co-adaptation at The Denver Theatre Center), and A Young Lady Of Fashion (also co-author at the historic Fulton Opera House); and the NY productions of Tim And Scrooge (NYMF and Queens Theatre), The Overcoat (Fringe Festival NY), Tall Boy Walkin’, and Moo. He recently served as Artistic Director for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma where he directed acclaimed productions of Tommy, Steel Magnolias, The Music Man and Sweeney Todd. Other directing credits: The Bomb-Itty of Errors (Adirondack Theatre Festivaland St. Louis Rep), Mother Russia (Carnegie Hall), The Little Foxes (Fulton Opera House),Ned Rorem’s Four Dialogues (Merkin Concert Hall); and Sherlock’s Last Case (The Alley Theatre). He has directed over 100 developmental workshops and readings, many of them for NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre writing program. His extensive appearances as a performer include Broadway: Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol, She Loves Me; Off-Broadway; regional theatre; film: Kissing Jessica Stein; recordings and television.

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, in Skokie. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (except September 25, October 2 and 16); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except September 26) and 7:30pm (except October 10); Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm (except Opening on September 21 at 7:30pm); Saturdays: 2:30pm (except September 15) and 8:00pm; Sundays: 2:30pm, and 7:00pm (except September 23, October 7 and 21).

Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production. All events are free for subscribers and ticket holders.