Not being a Hank Williams groupie, the biggest surprise of the script was that this man who made such a mark on Country music died at the age of 29.
This play tells the story of those 29 years, laying bare where the sorrows of his lyrics came from.
We meet Hank Williams as a prematurely dead man, and the script is a retrospective on the short life that led him to that point. It’s a story with highs of falling in love, breaking into the Grand Old Opry, starring in radio shows and then lows of falling out of love, back pains overtaking him and in turn his taking to the bottle so much that he ruins his promising career—almost.
Most of all we get to hear his songs, in compilation and with the help of his Drifting Cowboys Band (Michael Mahler, John Foley, Greg Hirte, and Austin Cook).
We feel that we are part of the honkeytonk audience or the fancier crowds, and in fact the audience did feel moved to clap along during many a song.
Talent oozes from the stage—from the masterful fiddle player (Greg Hirte) to the soul-gripping songs of Tee-Tot (played by John Crowley)
to Matthew Brumlow’s yodeling rendition of Hank Williams that ably conveys Williams as a boy and later his great pains (physical and emotional) in the sparse script in between songs.
The entire cast gave song and line their heart and it showed. Indeed, a minor character called “Waitress” played by Dana Black almost steals the show!
If you liked the musical impersonations of Million Dollar Quartet you’ll probably like this play. If you are a true Country music groupie it’s difficult to imagine how you would not absolutely love this play. If you are someone who sometimes finds themselves whistling “I Can’t Help it if I’m Still In Love with You” or “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” you’d better rush to get your seats soon before they sell out.
Country music fans, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” is your show this fall theater season.
August 30 - October 12** (extended run)
Greenhouse Theater Center's Downstairs Mainstage Theater
2257 North Lincoln, Chicago
Thursday - Saturday 7:30
Sundays 2:30, with post-show discussions beginning September 8
773 404 7336