Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50th anniversary of the event that inspired the iconic song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” with a rare performance and multimedia presentation at Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts (PTPA) this Sunday, November 15, at 7 pm.
Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” has become a Thanksgiving holiday anthem to families across the globe and it all originates from Guthrie’s experience on Thanksgiving in 1965. Guthrie will perform his most prominent work in its entirety on the Patchogue Theatre stage as well as selections from every full-length studio album he’s released since his debut, “Alice’s Restaurant” (1967).
“I didn’t think I was gonna live long enough to learn ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ again,” said Guthrie with a smile. “It was a quirky kinda thing to begin with. Nobody writes an 18-minute monologue expecting fame and fortune. The initial success of the song really took me by surprise more than anyone else. The fact that I have contended with it for five decades either by having to learn it again or by not doing it, has been an interesting balancing act. I’m surely looking forward to adding it to the repertoire though for the 50th anniversary tour.”
Folk songs enduring many decades of change only become classics when storylines remain just as relevant today as they were when originally composed. “Alice’s Restaurant” is of this ilk and has been weaved into the fabric of American society. Fans have embraced “Alice’s Restaurant” as part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition, but have also viewed it as one of the more pronounced anti-war rally songs. Each year, Guthrie receives handfuls of letters from Vietnam veterans and soldiers currently at war expressing their heartfelt connection to the song.
“The Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour” brings together an ensemble of fine musicians never to grace the stage together at one time. Guthrie’s deft band include Terry Hall (drums), Bobby Sweet (guitar, vocals), Darren Todd (guitar), and his son, Abe Guthrie (keyboards).
The show is also curated with a special multimedia presentation featuring previously unseen images from Guthrie’s archives. More than 75,000 photos have recently been digitized, and selections will be projected along with Peter Star’s claymation film depicting Arlo Guthrie’s “Motorcycle Song.”
On “Alice’s Restaurant” becoming such a cultural phenomenon, Guthrie said, “Well, I’ve always loved good stories. And I’ve loved telling tall tales. Why people enjoy it is beyond me. I haven’t sung ‘Alice’ for years and people still keep coming to the gigs. ‘Alice’ has taken on a life of its own and has become attached to Thanksgiving. If I had to guess though, maybe because it’s a story about a little guy against a big world.”
Don’t miss Arlo Guthrie perform one of America’s greatest musical treasures!!
LOCATION: Patchogue Theatre (71 E. Main St)
DATE: Sunday, November 15
PRICE: Ranges from $55 to $125 plus fee. For more information on the show, visit PatchogueTheatre.org or call 631-207-1313
TICKETS: Online at PatchogueTheatre.org, by phone (631)207-1313 or at the box office (open daily from 12-6pm).
[Content courtesy of Patchogue Theatre]