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Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith. Woody Guthrie Dreams.

Let me be known as just the man that told you something you already knew.

 


I remember just where he sat. Third seat, fifth row in my horseshoe of chair desks in room 203, Linganore High School, middle of the corn fields, Maryland. It was his ninth grade year, and he already had that “certain something” that made me fight the notion that good teachers don’t have pets.

Over the next four years, I watched. Just sat and watched. Watched a young boy whose writer’s voice had already found him. Watched as Michael began auditioning for Carl’s stage productions. Watched the flow. And, boy, was there a flow.

So, when Michael contacted Carl about being part of the concert at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance, there was no hesitation. Carl called some of Bmore’s best musicians and they were in. So, with Pat Peregoy on the beat, Tori Morse on the fiddle and me on the back up . . .Carl gave new life to I Ain’t Got No Home with a Springsteen Highway Patrolman fuel injection. Sweeeet.

 

 

In the course of the evening, we were able to jam with Linda Nelson, Dave Huber, Caleb Stine, Ben Curtis, Ben Forstenzer Jennifer Restivo, John Bolten , Allison Smith, Sarah Seely, and Bob Friedman . . . and if you know Baltimore, you know it was a Guthrie throw down the likes of which this town ain’t neva seen.

 

The Creative Alliance’s Megan Hamilton and Baltimore’s folksinging darlin’, Caleb Stine. Doing HUGE things for art in Baltimore.

Caleb Stine, he of the velvet voice, hosted the evening.

Ben Forstenzer sings Union Burying Ground.

I’m still watching. Watching Michael living his dreams out loud. Watching as his play, Woody Gurthrie Dreams, the one into which he’s breathed his soul for ten years, opens in New York City. And, yes, I will be there with a whole crew that LOVE Michael.

Watching, I am humbled, proud, and inspired, all in the same moment. Sweet. Life.

 


WOODY GUTHRIE DREAMS.

September 8 – October 1, 2011

Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue btw 9th & 10th Street.

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