Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Arlo Guthrie brings tour to Rutland

Courtesy of Paramount Theatre


Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. — RUTLAND — Legendary folk music icon Arlo Guthrie will play the historic Paramount Theatre in Rutland on Oct. 6 as a part of his 18-month North American tour to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the event that inspired the seminal song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”

A musical monologue running more than 18 minutes, “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.

“I didn’t think I was gonna live long enough to have to learn ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ again,” Arlo Guthrie says 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; it’s now woven into the fabric of American society. Fans have embraced “Alice’s Restaurant” as part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition, but also view it as one of the more pronounced anti-war rally songs. Every year, Arlo receives handfuls of letters from Vietnam vets and soldiers currently at war expressing their heartfelt connection to the song. Today, times are eerily similar to the mid-60’s, with unpopular wars being fought far away from home, and soldiers finding ways to cope. Music is often the best thing to soothe the soul. However listeners interpret the quintessential tune, we can rest assure that people of all different walks of life come together singing that famous chorus, “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant…”.

“Alice’s Restaurant,” a hilarious account of actual events that precluded Arlo Guthrie from military service (1966), became a Platinum selling record (1967) and full-length motion picture (1969) at the outset of his lauded career. Interestingly enough, the song’s lyrics reference the number 50 several times (i.e. “…there was five police officers, and three police cars, being the biggest crime of the last 50 years… I had to pay $50 to pick up the garbage…”), and here we are 50 years later commemorating the lengthiest hit single in music history. Due to its length, Arlo has only added the complete “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” to his touring menu on the 10-year anniversaries.

Tickets ($49.50, 59.50 & $69.50) are available at the venue box office located at 30 Center Street in historic downtown Rutland, charge-by-phone at 802-775-0903 or online at The Paramount Theatre is fully ADA compliant, including state-of-the-art hearing assistance devices.

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