PORT ANGELES — The guy is a comedian, a singer, an actor and someone who likes to compose songs about his audience. And in the course of his show titled “Six Guitars,” he melts from one kind of music man to another — almost before listeners realize what happened.
Chase Padgett, bringer of “Six Guitars” to town Saturday night, doesn’t necessarily have a half-dozen guitars. Rather he steps into the stories of six characters: bluesman Tyrone Gibbons, jazzman Wes Tankerfield, rocker Michael Marsh, folksinger Peter Winter-Jones, classical virtuoso Emmanuel Ortega and country singer Rupert Colt.
These figures are set to appear at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Performing Arts Center at Port Angeles High School, 304 E. Park Ave., in the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts’ first season concert of 2020.
Tickets start at $18 for adults and $10 for children 14 and younger at www.jffa.org and 360-457-5411.
“I’ve been doing this show for 10 years. I’ve done it hundreds of times,” Padgett said in a phone interview, “and I still love doing it. It’s still growing, still changing.”
Yet the message is the same as when he started.
In stories of cross-pollination, culture and creativity, the characters “serve to remind us that we’re all one,” said the performer.
“Music is a metaphor for humanity.”
At the same time, Padgett, who cut his teeth in improvisational comedy in college, looks to lighten things up. In his one-man show, he pokes fun at elitism, naivety, the audience and himself.
“I want to give people the best time I can,” he said.
“I saw ‘Six Guitars’ at a booking showcase when I was still a JFFA board member and was completely blown away,” said Kayla Oakes, now executive director of the Juan de Fuca Foundation.
With his mix of the twangy, the silky, the wailing and the juicy licks, Padgett is one versatile and gifted artist, she added.
Padgett, 36, grew up in Florida’s Orlando area and isn’t afraid to express his gladness at not living there anymore.
He married a Canadian, so he and his wife spend time, conveniently enough, in both Vancouver, B.C., and Padgett’s adopted home town of Vancouver, Wash.
After earning a music degree at the University of Central Florida and working at Disney and Universal Studios parks playing the Grinch, Beetlejuice and other characters, he created “Six Guitars,” and has found success — and sold-out houses — on the Canadian and U.S. fringe-festival and theater circuit.
Weird Al Yankovic, the comedian-accordionist-composer, is one of his strongest inspirations.
“When you really dive in [to Weird Al’s work], you find an incredible attention to detail and musicianship,” he said.
For Padgett, however, everything isn’t a joke. The jazz portion of his show during the second act has the character Wes offering a straight, heartfelt ballad.
It fits the season: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s 1937 classic “My Funny Valentine.”
Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.