Shadowbox Live’s original musical documentary about the Woodstock Festival, Back to the Garden was the troupe’s most popular musical to date. It was extended multiple times, running for an entire year and touching thousands of people with its message of peace and love. A special one night, outdoor performance brought 3500 people to Schiller Park in August 2010, giving those in attendance a truly authentic feeling Woodstock experience. Last year, Shadowbox Live celebrated the grand opening of the Columbus Commons with another outdoor performance of the musical, this time drawing roughly 7000 audience members.
By popular demand, Shadowbox Live will revisit the Aquarian Age this summer, bringing Back to the Garden to The Columbus Commons yet again on May 27th.
“The response to the show was off the charts,” says Stev Guyer, Shadowbox Live CEO and Executive Producer. “People kept asking when we would give another outdoor performance. We’re extremely excited to be able to meet that request.”
With crowds in the thousands, audience members should plan on arriving early to secure a prime spot on the lawn. And this year, there are extra incentives to being an early bird.
“One of the most frequent comments we receive after our outdoor performances is how much it feels like actually being at Woodstock,” says Shadowbox Live General Manager Katy Psenicka. “So we’re doing everything we can to expand that feeling into the entire day, instead of only during the show itself.”
Daytime activities include henna painting, face painting, yoga with local instructor Gail Larned, and a lesson in free dancing from Mimi Chenfield.
“Mimi has been teaching crowds how to free dance for decades literally around the world,” says Psenicka. “It’s a truly special experience from a very special person.”
And right before Shadowbox Live takes the stage for Back to the Garden, audience members will be treated to a short concert from original Woodstock performer Country Joe McDonald, lead vocalist for Country Joe & The Fish.
“Country Joe came into town last year and performed with us after a Back to the Garden show,” says Guyer, who plays McDonald in the musical. “I can’t tell you how happy we are to have him with us for this show. To have an original Woodstock performer there with us brings an authenticity to the event, and really adds to the entire experience.”
Back to the Garden will be performed at The Columbus Commons on May 27th, at 8:00 PM. Country Joe McDonald will perform around 7:00 PM. Admission is free.