‘The Road to Woodstock’ is a four-person musical journey through the life of folk singer Joan Baez during the 1960s, when she was a prominent activist through her music. Joan Baez has long been one of my favourite musicians, so I’m perhaps a little protective of her work and representations of her. It is lovely seeing people pay tribute to her in their own way, and carrying on the messages of her music.
Petra Elliott takes the role of Joan Baez, pausing between songs to give snippets of context to the lyrics and timeline, and anecdotes from Joan’s personal life — including her strained relationship with Bob Dylan (played by Paul Watson). One highlight of the show is the magnificent vocal performance by Bekkii O’Connor as Janis Joplin, leaving many in the audience cheering.
This is Neil Cole’s 20th play, and although there are some things that could be improved upon, the show is thoroughly enjoyable to the ears, with vocalists and instrumentalists that are talented in their own right.
The night culminated in a lovely sing-along of ‘We Shall Overcome’, a timeless song that still seems politically relevant over 40 years on, and still manages to connect with people.
Jasmin Ashton is a PR student and designer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about pretty much everything and a need to share them.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Chapel Off Chapel.
photo via Creative Commons Flickr user Piano Piano