It was American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “music is the universal language of mankind.”
Florida-born actor/musician Chase Padgett lets his guitar do the talking when he presents Six Guitars at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Oct. 20.
In the show, Padgett uses one guitar to portray six different characters: Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Folk and Country.
The show is told from the perspective of each character – from a 19-year-old rock prodigy to an 87-year-old blues man – each of whom is portrayed by guitar hero Padgett.
Each character shares humorous and heartfelt songs and stories, then celebrates or skewers the other genres as the show reveals how music brings us all together.
“The stories are of my own life, me saying things whether they be truthful or satirically portrayed,” said Padgett in an interview with Festival Nanaimo.
“The ageing blues artist is based on Buddy Guy, and BB King (who named his guitar Lucille). I modeled the character after I had seen these greats play live. These guys are really inspiring. They have an infinite charm, and enthrall the audience.”
Directed by Jay Hopkins and written by both Padgett and Hopkins, Six Guitars was developed in New York in 2010 during a two-month run and has since gone on to tour North America.
Padgett graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2007 with a bachelor of arts in music and has worked as a full-time actor and musician ever since.
In 2014, he became the artist in residence at the Curious Comedy Theatre in Portland, Ore. and recently performed in a sketch comedy showcase for top executives at NBC.
Padgett has just wrapped up performing Six Guitars on the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit, and received The Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice award for his performance at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. His show also won Pick of the Fringe in Edmonton and was one of the top five highest grossing acts in the history of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
“Five stars: Chase Padgett’s Six Guitars is nothing short of a storytelling masterpiece. The play will leave you doing two things: laughing until you cry, and lifting your jaw to its proper position,” reads a review in The Edmonton Sun.
Six Guitars is the first production in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre society’s 2015-16 theatre series. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for students. Subscriptions for the full series are on sale for a limited time ($160 for adults, $150 for seniors and $140 for students) and include Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, Seeds, Stickboy, and A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.
They are available at the Ticket Seller box office, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.