Genial folk singer-composer Arlo Guthrie is a reluctant celebrity. His famous father, Woody Guthrie, the iconic songwriter and political activitist, was often in the spotlight. Though Arlo carries on his father's work, he brings a light touch to it, courtesy of his sometimes whimsical, sometimes biting humor. His famous hit song, 1967's "Alice's Restaurant Massacre," is an 18-minute masterpiece that is part shaggy dog story and part political protest against the draft during the Vietnam War. Or, at least, that's how it's been interpreted. Arlo claims it wasn't a war protest song, actually. “A lot of people think 'Alice's Restaurant' was an anti-war song. It's not. It's an anti-idiot song,” he's said.
However you slice it, the song is hilarious and in its colorful way, tells the story of a polarizing time in this country's history. Its impact was such that it spawned a 1969 film, directed and co-written by the legendary Arthur Penn.
Arlo's performance style might be humorous and low-key but his muscial knowledge is rigorous. He's a multi-purpose musician who plays the piano, six and twelve-string guitar, harmonica and a dozen other instruments. And, of course, there's his singing and composing. On November 21, Ridgefield Playhouse presents Arlo Guthrie live on stage for one performance only. Catch his show to hear his legendary and fearless music and the magic he weaves with stories and anecdotes. Tickets are $70. Journey on Tour also performs. For more information, visit the Playhouse's website.