CEDAR LAKE | L’ arc en Ciel Theatre Group (LCTG), directed by Paul and Angie Lowe, has been bringing some of the region’s very best dinner theatre to life. The Lowes have just added two very special performances, which will be held on Friday, October 19 and Sunday, October 21. “Hard Travelin’ With Woody” is the brainchild of Randy Noojin, who will be performing his own show as a benefit fundraiser for LCTG. The Lowes had the privilege of seeing their graduate perform his show at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in North Carolina this past August. LCTG is blessed to host Randy Noojin, “back home again in Indiana!”
This very special event features LCTG favorite son Randy Noojin, a 1978 graduate of Lake Central High School, who has acted in hundreds of plays regionally and in New York (Circle Repertory, La Mama E.T.C., Circle-in-the-Square, Circle Rep Lab, and The Drilling Company) as well as across the country. Noojin’s film credits include Die Barkley and The Bench, while his television appearances include Boardwalk Empire and Royal Pains. The plays Randy Noojin has penned and published include THE COMPLAINT, THE KNIFE TRICK, YOU CAN’T TRUST THE MALE, UNBEATABLE HAROLD. His MEMORY COLLECTION (NEA Grant for Musical Theatre) was commissioned and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Bloomington Playwrights Project, Circle Rep Lab, as well as nationwide and internationally. Noojin’s works are available for production through Dramatic Publishing Company. Randy holds an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa’s Theatre Dept. where he was featured in the Playwrights Workshop. He has taught the playwriting classes at the U of Iowa. The feature film based on his play UNBEATABLE HAROLD premiered on Showtime in 2011, starring Dylan McDermott, Charles Durning and Henry Winkler. Noojin has also toured with his Hank Williams show. His one-man show HARD TRAVELIN’ WITH WOODY was originally produced at the Fringe in NYC, premiering in 2011.
“Hard Traveling with Woody” is Noojin’s very own portrayal of America’s favorite son and a man of the people. Randy portrays Woody who attends a union meeting in Oklahoma, where he tells his wonderful stories and sings his own haunting and heartfelt "Woody Guthrie" songs! Heck, the audience is even encouraged to sing along! Woody called himself a Hobo who traveled in boxcars and on transit trucks, befriending the American worker who was down on his luck, right after the Great Depression! Randy Noojin captivates his audience with his stellar characterization of one of our American storyteller-musician heroes. Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie whose birthday centennial America celebrates this year (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was best known as an American singer-songwriter and folk musician, whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with an anti-Fascist slogan displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land". Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress.
Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour". Guthrie’s son Arlo is also an American folk musician. During his later years, in spite of illness, Guthrie served as a figurehead in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan. Dylan and other songwriters, including Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer and Tom Paxton have acknowledged their debt to Guthrie as an influence on their music. Woody Guthrie was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997. Guthrie’s music and memories are still very prevalent in today’s economic society.
Hard Travelin’ with Woody at LCTG features a dinner theatre package, plus a cash bar. Adult tickets are $32.00 and tickets for seniors are $30.00. Tickets for children up to age 12 are $25.00. Part of the proceeds are a benefit for LCTG, and a portion will go to the Cedar Lake Food Pantry! That's what Woody Guthrie would've wanted!
If anyone else would like to schedule Randy in for a show while he's in the Calumet Region---say, a union hall or another venue, just contact Paul and Angie Lowe at 365-3197. Randy has a few Chicago shows scheduled while he is in the Calumet Region, and he plans to appear at his alma mater Indiana State University in Terre Haute well before returning to New York City. Randy joins another LCTG grad, Arlene Adler (’76) who brought her trio Uncle Bonsai to LCTG last March while she was doing shows in Chicago. LCTG is grateful to all its alumni, many of whom still work with LCTG today.
LCTG follows Randy Noojin’s special appearance with their production of GODSPELL featuring Dan Ball as Jesus, Jacob Gardner as John the Baptist/Judas and the LCTG kids who have been appearing since A Christmas Story in ’08. LCTG regulars include Aaron Cappello, Hannah Souronis, Madison Breford, Elise Bereolos, Jackson DeLisle, Brett Balicki, Austin Traina, Sammy Bredar, Samantha Tarkington, Nikki Kaminsky, Hope Johanssen, Sara Yardley, Dylan Foster, and newcomers to the Great Oaks stage, McKenzie Barcelli, Adam Gustas, and Zack Hansen.
The show dates for GODSPELL are Sundays, November 11, 18, 25, and December 2. There will also be one Friday night show on November 23. This show is perfect for the Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas holidays! For additional information or to purchase tickets, phone either 219-365-3197 or 219-374-8000.
LCTG directors Paul and Angie Lowe are finishing their 8th year at Great Oaks, after 38 years as Lake Central Theatre Guild directors in St. John. The Lowes are hoping to hang on to see 50 years, fully intending to continue to work with “kids” as well as area adults and community theatre folks, bringing quality dinner theatre to Lake County, all thanks to Tom McAdams, owner of Great Oaks Banquets.