by Michael Meigs
This was my first time to see this comical-historical-pastoral concert piece by Ann Rapp and Texas music star big Ray Benson. You might well have seen early stagings in 2005 and later; the public message is that this four-night-and-two-matinee celebration is happening this week, February 20 - 24, as a farewell to Austin.
|Jason Roberts (image: www.zachtheatre.org)|
We may well hope that's a marketing ploy and not a definitive retirement decision, because the boys and girls in the band and in the cast are in fine form, and Ray Benson anchors the show with cheer and confidence. In any case we can take heart from the theme of A Ride with Bob: Texas swing music belongs to us all and Bob won't ever go away. Right there on stage we can see the fiddling tradition passing, alive and well, down through the generations -- not only in the narrated story of Bob Wills himself but also in the enthusiastic participation (in declining order of chronological age) of Walt Roberts, Jason Roberts as the fiddlin' Bob Wills, the delightful 16-year-old Ruby Jane Smith and the solemn and promising fifth grader Colby Sheppard.
|Ray Benson, Marco Perrera (image: www.zachtheatre.org)|
Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com. . . .