Weaverville Waltz My Brother Sang like Roy Orbison One Frigid Shiny Knight This May Feel a Little Funny Singing at the Edge of the World
Weaverville Waltz

A pipsqueak Romeo from the wrong side of the tracks dreams of romancing the Homecoming Queen,
while at home he longs to rescue his mother from his jealous, hard-drinking stepfather.


"Harrowing and hilarious." Oakland Tribune

"Tender…Strong…Heartfelt… Weaverville Waltz will sweep you off your cynical feet."
***** (4.5 stars) Edmonton Journal

"If you haven’t already, you’re going to hear a lot about this." ***** (4.5 stars) Winnipeg Sun

"Sublime ... a mesmerizing production. "
***** (5 stars) See Magazine (Edmonton)

More Reviews for Weaverville Waltz - In Brief:


"True to it's title, this show picks you up and sweeps you around the room. ...
Rutherford is an expert storyteller, creating a fully-textured world and
complex characters who will stay with you long after the show is over.
" The Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

"The word seems to be out on this engaging monologist – his first show here was full. ...
A gifted storyteller…compellingly dramatic, poignant and heart-warming.
" Victoria Times Colonist

"... really makes this play fly ... It’s nothing short of damn inspiring, and makes you take deeper note of [the people] in your life. ...
... if anything his music is the most beautiful part.
When it’s over, you feel like you’re good friends with the man, and it's heartbreaking to walk by him later and have him not recognize you.
"
Edmonton Sun

"A very powerful story ... about the unresolved loves in all our lives." Robert Enright, Globe & Mail

"The scenes which reach out and grab your heart are too numerous to mention." The Jenny Revue

"a devastating yet hilarious memoir about his teenage years spent vying for the affections of a senior cheerleader goddess, in the face of the trailer park upbringing and alcoholic stepfather that held him back. An hour and a half is spent blissfully by the audience drawn to the resonance of Rutherford’s singing, dancing and relating one character after another, in what can only be described as a phenomenal experience." Vue Weekly (Edmonton, 2009)

"utterly captivating" Edmonton Journal

"Terrific…with homespun humor and vivid details… This play deserves to be sold out every night. "
Edmonton Sun (1st tour)

"marvelous ... it drew a full house, and deserves the ultimate Winnipeg accolade."
CBC Winnipeg

"masterful storyteller .... A definite must. "
***** (4.5 stars) CBC Winnipeg (Review #2)

"Outstanding ... wonderfully told ... If you have seen it, you'll likely enjoy seeing it again. "
UMFM Radio (Winnipeg)

" one trip down memory lane you have to make. "
Winnipeg Sun (review #2)

"The deft storytelling talents of writer and performer Randy Rutherford make for a seemingly effortless performance.
Finely observed, funny and quite heart-wrenching.
"
Vue Weekly (Edmonton)

"A tender and loving show…watching Rutherford is a joy. "
Sunday Magazine (Victoria)

"Funny and poignant… Rutherford delivers with the precision and detail of a born storyteller. Highly recommended. "
Seattle Weekly

"Rutherford is the real thing. "
Seattle Times

"It's easy to be seduced by Rutherford's storytelling...(he's) a charismatic guy with a great voice...
(who) delivers humor, irony and classic tunes.
" Vancouver Courier

"A real prize." San Francisco Weekly

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Full Reviews below.

See also Reviews for last year's hit "Singing at the Edge of the World"





Weaverville Waltz Tour:

After enjoying critical praise and enthusiastic audiences in Orlando, Seattle, San Francisco, Minnesota, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Victoria, Vancouver and London, in 2009 Randy Rutherford is bringing his solo show “Weaverville Waltz” to the Fringe Festivals of Toronto and Saskatoon, and bringing it back to London, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

Brief Bio:
A folksinger in Alaska during the '70s, Rutherford gave up music and performing because of a progressive hearing loss and earned an MFA in Painting. Since returning to the stage in the early 90s, he has written five highly successful autobiographical plays, all of which have received multiple 5-star reviews.

Publicity photo: (low res.) click for high-resolution.
web-quality Weaverville Waltz image
  web-quality Weaverville Waltz poster



Full Reviews for Weaverville Waltz   (more to be added soon):

Review_-_Weaverville_Waltz_-_Toronto_Star_-_2009. Highly recommended. Randy Rutherford is a natural-born storyteller, a legend of sorts on the fringe circuit with what must surely be a record 23 Best of Fringe awards. His latest, Weaverville Waltz, is yet one more reason to watch him weave his magic on stage.
... It's a sweet, sad and funny story about ... towering and belligerent ... beautifully told coming-of-age story that will tug at your heart and stay with you long after the lights have come up and Rutherford has left the stage. - Bruce DeMara -->
***** (5 stars) Vue Weekly (Edmonton) Jonathan Busch, August 17, 2009
Fringe favorite Randy Rutherford relates a devastating yet hilarious memoir about his teenage years spent vying for the affections of a senior cheerleader goddess, in the face of the trailer park upbringing and alcoholic stepfather that held him back. An hour and a half is spent blissfully by the audience drawn to the resonance of Rutherford’s singing, dancing and relating one character after another, in what can only be described as a phenomenal experience (albeit charmingly humble). If you read this after already having seen it, take my advice and go again. I know I will.


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Review by Kathleen Oliver Georgia Straight (Vancouver, BC) Sept 6-13, 2001
Weaverville Waltz
    True to it's title, this show picks you up and sweeps you around the room.  Randy Rutherford's recollections of his childhood in a tiny northern California town in the 1950s are full of laughter, love, and heartache.  One of the most compelling figures in Randy's years as "the littlest freshman ever" to attend his high school is his stepfather, Lou, an alcoholic whose jealousy is so intense that at one point, Randy's adored mother asks her son not to hug or kiss her anymore.  It's a credit to Rutherford that he resists making Lou a one-dimensional monster; instead, he subtly captures Randy's ambivalence toward Lou and just about everything else, including his first girlfriend and inevitable heartbreak.  Rutherford is an expert storyteller, creating a fully textured world complete with lovely a cappella song snippets and complex characters who will stay with you long after the show is over.
P.S. Both Weaverville Waltz and My Brother Sang Like Roy Orbison have been Best Of Fringe Picks by the Edmonton Journal and The Edmonton Sun.


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The Jenny Revue Lezlie Brooks - July 21, 2009  (source)
  Randy Rutherford charmed me with last year's show, Singing at the Edge of the World, so I had high expectations of Weaverville Waltz before I walked in the door. True to expectations, Mr. Rutherford delivers a show full of poignant storytelling and rich emotional evocations of situations which will resonate with much of his audience.
  This story, a tribute to his mother, details his childhood and teenage years in Weaverville, where Randy is the smallest boy, in love with the most beautiful girl in school. Against the backdrop of his at times turbulent home life, Randy entertains with song, stories, laughter and love. The scenes which reach out and grab your heart are too numerous to mention.
  Mr. Rutherford's ability to create an intimacy with his audience, to share his stories in a delightful, sad, and truly human place is remarkable.
  His choice of music sets the tone of nostalgia, and longing for connection that we all share.
  Emotional bondaries are challenged in this slice of life performance that make the audience eager to share Randy's experience, and ultimately sad when the show is over. As he struggles to maintain equilibrium in the face of a challenging family life in a small town, the audience goes along for the ride; willingly, poignantly, and accompanied, of course, by great music.
  Go see this show. You will be glad you did.

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Review from the Edmonton Sun by Fish Griwkowsky, Aug 24, 2001
“Weaverville Waltz”
If you’ve spent any time in northern California it smacks hard that you’re in the kingdom of the freak show.
Things go on in those woods and trailer parks that won’t be done here for a couple hundred years. And some things done there have been going on since the explorers first came to town, ready to slaughter.
Randy Rutherford’s charming monologue about growing up in Weaverville, California, on Highway 299 near Shasta Lake, hints at this dark world, full of incredible detail while showing the healed scars of an oft-broken heart. Above all, despite the demons, you can tell he loves it more than anything in the world. It’s a love story with the last chapter perfectly missing.

Like all ‘50s survivors, Rutherford explores the hypocrisy of visions of the forced nuclear family: mom in the kitchen, dad smoking a pipe and tossing the ball with his kids, a dog barking and the whole gang laughing in freeze frame as the credits roll.
In his case, reality was his plump mom enduring and overcoming the barbs of Lou, his drunken skunk of a stepfather. And, in less than a couple hours, we see their whole story play out. Marvelous storytelling, really.
But, of course, what really makes this play fly is the portrait of the entire town, trailer park and all. It’s nothing short of damn inspiring, and makes you take deeper note of the spitting cuckolds, street musicians and bosses with bad hair in your life, so you too can shake up the ghosts for others when the time comes.
With details like blue eyes the color of mountains when they’re really far off, you know you’d better get reading more to match Rutherford’s library of bull’s-eye prose and weaving words. Summer romance, football games and old-school rebels standing up to the law - it’s all cliche. But Rutherford breathes such life into it you can’t use that word. Monolithic archetype. That’s more accurate.
Interspersed with pre-rock and roll songs (still can’t get Moon River out of my head), Rutherford’s nostalgia runs deep, and if anything his music is the most beautiful part, just the man there on the stage, pouring out his heart about loves that washed away with the eternal tide.
When it’s over, you feel like you’re good friends with the man, and it’s heartbreaking to walk by him later and have him not recognize you. This, then, is the genius of simple narration gone right.



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***** (4.5 stars) Review by John Baert Winnipeg Sun July 25, 2003
Weaverville Waltz
At the King’s Head Pub
  If you haven’t already, you’re going to hear a lot about this 90-minute offering by San Franciscan Randy Rutherford (My Brother Sang Like Roy Orbison).
  This tender tale is set in the ‘50s in a mining town, where young Rutherford must navigate his way through the first stirrings of love, the challenge of living with an alcoholic stepfather, the ignominy of blowing a monumental high school football game, and ultimately the death of someone close to him.
  Rutherford is a jack of all trades – tremendous singer, masterful storyteller and understated actor. His Waltz is full of heart and wonderfully told.

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***** (4.5 stars) Uptown Magazine (Winnipeg) Jared Story - July 20, 2009. "A" Rating (source)
San Francisco's Randy Rutherford reaches back into his own life for Weaverville Waltz, chronicling his school boy days in the late' 50s and early '60s living in the Trinity Mountains of northern California. A storyteller, Rutherford doesn't act out as much as he describes a situation, his words bringing life to a cast of characters. Along the way we meet his loving mother Lorraine-Jane and his cheerleader sweetheart Cheryl. But every tale needs an antagonist. Lou, Rutherford's drunken step-father, creates many a crisis for the family. In fact, this story deals in a whole lot of sorrow, complete with Rutherford crooning many an old country number. But for every bit of grief, there's a light-hearted balance, whether it's kisses from his mother or foibles on the football field. All in all, Rutherford's dry wit and tender delivery makes one happy feeling sad.

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Winnipeg Sun Robin Dudgeon, 20th July 2009. Four Stars   (source)
Weaverville Waltz is one trip down memory lane you have to make.
Randy Rutherford’s intensely charming story about growing up in America in the 1950s and 1960s is more storytelling than theatre. Rutherford spent nearly 90 minutes telling anecdotes of his childhood in Weaverville, Calif., where he lived with his mother Lorraine-Jane and stepfather Lou.
Charming moments like dancing with his mother in the living room to country-western records make you smile, while tales of his stepfather’s alcoholism and abusive behaviour make you cringe. In this tale of growing up and falling in love, Rutherford proves he is not only a talented actor but also a gifted singer. He makes his way through multiple characters and even provides snippets of music — mostly Elvis — to accompany his stories.
Time with Rutherford is time well spent, so take the trip and do the Weaverville Waltz.


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***** (4.5 stars) Review by Iain Illich Edmonton Journal August 17, 2009
Weaverville Waltz
Fringe veteran Randy Rutherford’s tale of the joys and pains of small-town California childhood is utterly captivating, even if there’s a lot more pain than joy.
  The story starts with present-day Randy explaining his guilt at not attending his mother’s funeral in Alaska. Instead of making the trip north, he takes a road trip from San Francisco to Weaverville, the tiny town where he grew up. To his surprise, the trailer park where he’d once lived with his mother Lorraine-Jane and stepfather Lou is still there after all these years.
  From there, Rutherford takes us back in time, gradually working his way forward through the eyes of a boy, then of an awkward but sensitive young man.
  We learn that Lou is an alcoholic, always only a couple of drinks away from the threat of physical violence. And yet, he’s not presented as cartoonishly evil. When sober, he displays hints of affection and humanity that are quickly drowned out once the cap comes off the whisky bottle.
  Randy’s mother is chillingly real, and all the more heartbreaking because of it. She’s a constant victim of her husband’s drunken mental and verbal abuse who wants out of her situation, but can never seem to leave. Her life has become a living hell, though she almost seems resigned to it, crying and reassuring her son that everything’s going to be OK.
  And yet in the middle of all this sadness, a story of young, improbable love adds a ray of hope. Randy, a “deep” but awkward teen with working-class roots, falls for the homecoming queen, a nice young woman with educated, well-off parents. The twist injects a welcome dose of humour and wonder into a play that would otherwise have risked being buried in darkness.
  Rutherford’s performance is spellbinding, and you can’t help but get swept up in the story. It’s a sad tale, but a tale well told, full of real, honest, believable emotion, delivered by someone who knows how to spin a yarn.

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Review by Adrian Chamberlain Victoria Times Colonist Aug 29, 2001
Storyteller weaves compelling tale
   San Francisco actor/playwright Randy Rutherford has regularly performed at the Victoria fringe festival in recent years.  The word seems to be out on this engaging monologist – his first show here was full.
   His other autobiographical work My Brother Sang Like Roy Orbison chronicled his young adult years.  Weaverville Waltz is about his early experiences as a child and a teenager growing up in Smalltown, U.S.A. (i.e. Weaverville, pop 2003).  Rutherford exhibits a writer's keen eye for telling details:  the tiny gap between his adored mother's front teeth, or the way the lead singer in a high-school rock band used to bob his head slightly (it looked cool, but was actually the result of a neurological condition).
   The protagonist of Weaverville Waltz lives in a trailer park.  They aren't rich, yet life is fairly good – with one proviso.  His stepfather is a controlling alcoholic who controls and disrupts his family's lives in a way that's reminiscent of Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life.  Lou, the step-dad, is a bullying man's man who loves Hank Williams, whiskey and regularly accuses his wife of being "a whore".
   At times, Weaverville Waltz is almost too sweet to be true, especially when Rutherford speaks of dating the prettiest cheerleader in school and slow dancing a la American Graffiti to Elvis Songs.  However, he's too cleaver to let things get saccharine, and the ogre of his step-father, always lurking underneath, saves the show from sentimentality.
   Rutherford makes story-telling seem effortless, yet much skill has gone into making this narrative compellingly dramatic, poignant and heart-warming. Four stars.
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Review by Alan Kellogg Edmonton Journal
Aug 20, 2001

Trailer-trash tale quickly rises to the top of the heap
Weaverville Waltz will sweep you off your cynical feet

    California monologist Randy Rutherford, whose My Brother Sang Like Roy Orbison was a standout at last year's Fringe, returns with another strong, heartfelt piece rooted in memory.
   Time-travel to the Whispering Pines Trailer Court in small town northern California, where Randy grew up in sight of Mount Baldy with his gentle, long-suffering mother Loraine Jane (a somewhat plumper Betty Grable with goofy glasses) and stepfather Lou, a boorish, hard-drinking, chicken-fried-steak-eating lout much of the time, who loves Velveeta because "it's the only cheese that ain't stinky."
   It's the classic American ‘50s of tuna casserole and Ferlin Husky, Saturday morning westerns and high school homecoming dances, roadsters with chrome headers, McCarthy's swimming hole and Shirley's ice-cream parlor.  Rutherford frames his bittersweet narrative with shards of period songs:  Are You Lonesome Tonight, Moon River, Chances Are, Don't Be Cruel.  We follow solid, sympathetic Randy through his May-September high school romance with Cheryl, her jealous, wet-pawed ex-boyfriend Rick Large, Rutherford's big football disaster, the night the local legend took on the town constabulary and especially, the arc of Loraine and Lou's marriage.
   Tender but rarely sentimental, attenuated to the dark side without slipping into cynicism, Rutherford is a master at this form, as careful with the small details as the big picture.
   There will be those who would avoid this on the usually sound grounds of unwanted boomer nostalgia, but they would be making a mistake.  Rutherford may use his childhood era as a palette, but the resulting art is universal.
***** (4.5 stars)
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Review by Robert Enright Globe & Mail July 21, 2001
Randy Rutherford has the instincts and the powers of observation necessary to be a novelist and his one-man play about growing up in Weaverville, California has a lot in common with good fiction.  It is full of telling detail – a character with pale blue eyes "the color mountains have when they're really far off"; the one gray tooth of a schoolboy hero – and even more expressive emotion.  This is really a love story and like most compelling love stories, it's incomplete.  Young Randy is desperately in love with his mother and his mother destructively in love with his stepfather, and that complicated triangle generates much of the play's staying-power.  Everything about Loraine-Jane (from the space between her teeth, to her Betty Grable looks) fascinates him; similarly, everything about his stepfather, from his taste in cheese to his leering drunkenness and violence, repels him.  "Weaverville Waltz" is about how Randy uses memory to come to terms with his past and the ghosts, benign and malignant, that continue to haunt him.  Mr. Rutherford's performance is delicate and carefully orchestrated and he uses song fragments – that he sings a cappella – to correspond with and fill out the spoken emotions in the play.  A number of other characters populate his active story-telling – Ester Lillywhite and her religiously fanatic mother; Jake Stoker, the Legend of Trinity High; and Cheryl Davey, the rich girl who lives about as far away from the Whispering Pine Trailer Park as a human being can – but they're all brought into focus through Randy's ferocious and needy remembering.  His is a very powerful story that speaks from the heart about the unresolved loves in all our lives.  One thing he does have in common with his stepfather is an understanding of this country and western song-line:  "I can't help it if I'm still in love with you."  For Rutherford only emotion endures, and the characters that come to life in this fine telling of his coming-to-manhood embody that necessary and enduring emotion.  "Weaverville Waltz" is full of sentiment but never sentimental.  I recommend it highly.


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Jo Ledingham Vancouver CourierSept. 9, 2001
CARE TO DANCE?
Weaverville Waltz, a bittersweet Fringe play starring Randy Rutherford, delivers humor, irony and classic ‘50s tunes.
LONG WALTZ WORTH THE TIME
    At 90 minutes, Weaverville Waltz is long but it's easy to be seduced by creator/performer Randy Rutherford's storytelling.  He's alone up there and it feels like his own story—a story of a boy who lives in a small-town California trailer court with his mom Loraine Jane who calls him her "darlin' little tater pie" and his alcoholic stepfather Lou.  Rutherford is a charismatic guy with a dry sense of humor, a well-developed sense of irony and he has an affinity and a great voice for the music of the ‘50s: "Young Love", "Blue Moon", "Are You Lonesome Tonight", "I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You", etc.
   Adolescent Randy, at four-feet, 10-and-half inches and 87 pounds, doesn't come close to Lou's expectations on the football field or with the girls.  ("Hey, boy, are you wettin' her woolly?" he crudely asks).  But when Lou calls Loraine Jane "a fuckin' whore," it looks like Randy just might blow Lou's brains out with his deer gun.  But it's not that kind of story.  It's fragile, bittersweet and tells Randy—and us—something about the different faces of love.

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***** (5 stars)   See Magazine (Edmonton) - Gilbert Bouchard, Aug 21, 200l.
Weaverville Waltz
The Fringe is at it's best when simple.  What do you need beyond talented performers and strong, unvarnished text?   Case in point, Randy Rutherford's sublime Weaverville Waltz.   Spanning its protagonist's life from the late '50s to the present, this work is a straight-ahead, visceral tale-spinning, mainly chronicling the poignant highlights of a more-typical-than-not, albeit harsh, trailer-park up-bringing.  Rutherford's command of the language and a warm, super-engaging presentation makes for a mesmerizing production.  The work is the definition of honest, trusting its material and endlessly accurate in its sense of the human condition without succumbing to bitterness or the maudlin.

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Vue Weekly (Edmonton) - Maureen Fenniak, Aug 23, 2001.
Weaverville Waltz
My Brother Sang Like Roy Orbison was one of my favorite shows last year (Fringe or otherwise); by the end of that story, when the narrator (Randy Rutherford) sees his beloved but estranged older brother after 30 years … I was gulping back that big lump in my throat and my eyes were getting watery.  This year the tone and tempo in Weaverville is different, but just as powerful.  Rutherford has an uncanny eye for the discarded and overlooked ephemera of experience.  His stories seem full of apparent narrative accidents, which gives his performance a meandering, spontaneous quality and freestyle charm that's utterly convincing and far from artless.  Four stars.


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Minneapolis Star-Tribune Forum - Robin Chase. August 6.
Rutherford Weaves Enduring Tale ***** (5 stars)
Master monologuist Randy Rutherford of San Francisco takes us on a delightful journey down memory lane to the early days of his youth in the late 1950s in the town of Weaverville, California. Many Baby-Boomers will have flashbacks to their own youth as Rutherford spins a very personal, very poignant tale of first love, first heartbreak and family tension due to the actions of his alcoholic, redneck, gun-loving stepfather. At no time will your attention wander during this 90-minute presentation, thanks to Rutherford's gifted storytelling abilities. He easily jumps in-and-out of character as he offers impressions of his mother Loraine Jane, stepdad Lou and girlfriend Cheryl. Interspersed throughout are accapella musical interludes, offered by Rutherford in perfect pitch. For the first 25 minutes, things seem pretty normal in the life of a young boy. Then, Lou's demons begin to assert themselves and we become gripped by pathos as we share young Randy's growing feelings of unease, discomfort, confusion, awkwardness, embarrassment and - at times - outright fear. But we also share his happier moments of school and of being in love - remembrances rich with humour, for Rutherford refuses to take himself too seriously. And therein lies the richness of his appeal - his ability to lead his audience so easily from one emotional plane to another, so that we no longer feel that we are being told a story, but rather we sense that we are sharing a life.


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The London Fringe Press - Maureen Connor
Weaverville Waltz is the best play that I have seen, period, in three years of attending numerous plays at the London Fringe Festival. Randy Rutherford is a superb actor (with a great singing voice to boot.) He has the ability to make everything real and to pull you in to his world. An absolute must see.

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UMFM (Winnipeg) - Joe Carney
Outstanding:
The story is of Randy's youth in the small northern California town of Weaverville. Randy lives in a trailer park with his mom Loraine Jane and his hard drinking, sometimes abusive, red-neck step dad Lou. He is smitten with head cheerleader Cheryl Davey despite being the smallest boy in his class. This is a wonderfully told story that perfectly evokes the late 50's early 60's era of swimming holes, potato chip tuna casseroles, soda fountains, Gary Cooper westerns and coming of age. There is singing without accompaniment that is always appropriate and in tune. If you haven't seen this show, certainly check it out. If you have seen it, you'll likely enjoy seeing it again. One warning though - it is 90 minutes, so pee first. It is in the King's Head after all.

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CBC Winnipeg Ron Robinson - July 22, 2003. Rating: 4 stars.   (source)
  My dad had a .303. That was the rifle's calibre, and it was given to him as a retirement gift. Not the kind of gift you'd give to a dissatisfied employee, is it? And it wasn't till years later that it struck me. It would have been the same weapon he was issued in the last great unpleasantness, World War Two.
  That memory was sparked by Randy Rutherford's recounting of being given a .303 by his stepfather, in his marvelous 90 minutes of storytelling Weaverville Waltz. Now in his case it was to help him become a man, it was to cement relations between the two, and to serve as a bribe to get him to call his step-dad Lou, dad. Randy might not have agreed, but his mom, Loraine Jane asked him to do it. And when you add in that it meant the rifle was then under Randy's bed and couldn't be used to threaten his mom with again, you can see why he agreed.
  There is an element of menace that runs like a vein through this one man show, all of it from Lou, and Rutherford brings him to life.   Now if Lou is the stone in his memory's shoe, thinking of his mom calls back the best. Her support, protection from Lou, [and] attempts to make a home in the trailer park, are told in warm and glowing tones.
  All of this happens upstairs in one corner of the King's Head pub, with the occasional lighting cue. I sat at the back of the space and I could still hear everything and get the nuances.
Kay Stone, who used to teach storytelling at the University of Winnipeg, says every story is a healing story. There is that in Rutherford's telling, but there is also the terrible realization that people you love may die never willing to see someone else the way you do. Are they blind? Do they love unconditionally? Are they desperate to be a couple?
  90 minutes of grim would have everyone sobbing in their beer, so don't let me finish without assuring you that most of the memories are couched in a self-effacing, whimsical style. Playing school football - Lou insisted. Dancing with a blonde vision who is a foot or more taller. High school chums, returning to high school years later. I'm high on Weaverville Waltz, but I feel I should add, that it will carry a special impact for North American men who are in their meandering middle 50s.
  And let's deal with the repeat question. This was here a few years back,
it drew a full house, and deserves the ultimate Winnipeg accolade. It was value for money. Enough said.

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***** (4.5 stars) CBC Winnipeg Ken Gordon - July 16, 2003.   (source)
Randy Rutherford is back in this wonderful story of his childhood and his relationship with his mother and stepfather. The story is told in two parts. In the first part Randy is 7 and living in Weaverville California in a trailer park. Randy loves his mother but fears his stepfather who drinks a lot and is abusive. The second part of the story takes us to the time around Randy's 15th birthday. We learn of his first love and all of the trials and tribulations involved in the relationship, school, sports, and friends. Mr. Rutherford is a masterful storyteller who transports us to the time of his childhood through his wonderfully descriptive prose interspersed with his great renditions of the musical hits of his youth. A definite must for any Fringer.

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Winnipeg Free Press Wendy Burke. Four Stars. July 16, 2009
Weaverville Waltz
San Francisco’s Randy Rutherford wastes no time in pulling his audience into the trailer park near the lumber mill in Weaverville, Calif., the place where Rutherford, his mother Lorraine-Jane and his hard-drinking stepfather Lou, are the extra "3" on the sign that says "Population: 2,003."
These stories are tinged with sorrow and brightened with humour. They twang on the heartstrings like the country and western songs, and the melodrama of the old Elvis love ballads that provide the "background music" to these poignant scenes from Rutherford’s youth in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
Rutherford strings stories together like melodies: lipstick kisses that proffer unconditional forgiveness for "playing doctor" with a girl from the trailer park, cowboy movies that take him and his mother away from the jealousy and anger of Lou on a bender and a disastrous dinner date when he brings home his first love.
The return performance of this one-man "coming to terms with his coming of age" story is wistful and warm, and Rutherford delivers a compelling performance.