Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Than Just A Review

While making mention of this on the May 9 Sunday Simcha program and, surely, this Sunday (May 2)when we commemorate the 91st Birthday of Pete Seeger (5/3) and yours truly---not quite there yet-- this is something that has to be mentioned even sooner. A glorious evening that was billed as a concert---and a memorable one it was--but was in fact a most touching and wonderful surprise 50th Birthday Party for a family by the name of Wolofsky and organized by their wonderfully sentimental and caring children. Amazingly it was a surprise---which was a great surprise to me. How do you keep it a secret that you are going to Tarrytown Music Hall from Canada and on that stage will be----Pete Seeger, Fred Hellerman, Work O The Weavers, The Klezmatics---and the biggest surprise to them---Theresa Tova (you have heard her on Sunday Simcha)--along with the perfect image of Woody Guthrie--Rob Tepper (you have heard him on Traditions)? Not to mention some great monologues by Nora Guthrie since this was also a benefit for The Guthrie Archives and for the sloop Woody Guthrie.

More than just a review because those are the basics.  What transpired on that stage was, besides an historical event, a wonderful musical celebration.  From the moment Pete Seeger took the stage the audience was mesmerized and, as it always is with Pete Seeger, involved.  Followed by The Work O The Weavers who keep that wonderful tradition alive and keep updating it and then having Fred Hellerman come on was surely a homecoming for many.  Fred Hellerman calling on Pete to join him ("...I am not used to being alone on a stage") was a brilliant moment as they did an old ---hardly  remembered--favorite, "The Frozen Logger".

While the Work O The Weavers were still on stage an intruder came up----Woody Guthrie.  Had you not known he had passed on you would have seriously believed that Rob Tepper WAS Woody Guthrie.  If one can see his full production (When The Curfew Blows) it is not to be missed.

There you see what I am writing of.   Woody Guthrie re-incarnated.  Or, as Nora Guthrie state--"...I am freaked".  That says it all.

After intermission at this grand old entertainment palace that still lives on we were regaled by The Klezmatics who surely know how to blow a house down.  The big surprise of the evening--for the Wolofsky family at least was the person who joined The Klezmatics for a great rendition (among other things) of Kisses Sweeter Than Wine---in Yiddish.  Prior to that the big surprise of the evening was the elder Mr. Wolofsky running up on to the stage to hug Tova---and idol of his for many years.  The Klezmatics then continued with music that made the rafters ring and the spirits soar.

For a final ending I have to close with this description of it and follow it with the photo you saw at the top since this was a truly historical and personal event---and also benefited some wonderful works of historical meaning---The Guthrie Foundation and The Sloop Woody Guthrie.

For that grand Finale which started with This Land Is Your Land and then had Pete Seeger signalling all the others to come forward; then leading them in Goodnight Irene and have them (Pete signalling) for them to sing the last chorus as the slowly walked off the stage-----What An Evening.  

1 comment:

Wolofsky Clan said...

Just to fill in a couple of the blanks of this post.
-It was actually a 50th wedding anniversary.
-Why did we do this?
Because our parents met a Weavers concert in Montreal on March 8th 1959. We wanted to re-create their initial meeting.
- How did we keep it a secret?
OY! We told them last Sept they were invited to hear their grandson who goes to Vassar whistle. When they started asking why the whistling wasn't in Poughkeepsie, we started making stuff up like "it's a small liberal arts college competition and there will be lots of North East Schools competing."

We are also lucky the parental units are "dans la lune" as we say here in Montreal. AKA space cadets, so when various people about town actually did ruin the surprise, they were too vapid to realize it.

-Credit for the true genius of the concert must be given to David Bernz of Work 'o the Weavers. We just came along for the ride.

The Wolofsky Kids and Grandkids