Stephen Sondheim's musical Company—about a man's pre-emptive midlife crisis—landed Christopher Worth right in the middle of where he never thought he'd be: a career as a singer/songwriter rather than an actor. But in this case life did not imitate art: Unlike the production's central character Bobby, who questions some decisions he's made, Worth—who was cast as Bobby himself—will never have to rely on hindsight; he made the correct choice early by picking up a guitar.
"I did not sing until I was almost 21 years old," Worth told Oregon Art Beat earlier this year. "I had done acting classes in high school and I always felt like this attraction to being on stage. And then when I got to college, the first show I had to sing. The vocal coach was like 'you're good, you know; if you just work on this your voice is better than you think.' The experience of my voice coming to me was literally like it was given to me out of nowhere."
Still, even in a musical career, Worth isn't totally deviating from the theatrical. Two albums into making solo music, Worth's recordings are epic bare-bones blues-folk operas. Each album fetches 24 tracks of conflict, passion and amusement that fill full-length songs and aptly placed interludes that connect all the dots. Relationship stories are stretched across the album forming musical vignettes very much in the style of Company.
Worth's voice blends the soul of John Legend with the dirtiness of Jonny Lang—and it is thick with personal confession. In fact, that's another way he deviates from that character he played in Company. Much of his sophomore album "Two"—the second in a concept trilogy—deals with the intentional desire for a relationship rather than Bobby's haphazard love life devoid of any real compass.
He sings: "I only need one woman. She's a goddess and I'm a man who understands," on the track "One Woman." When considered against the phone messages spliced between the songs featuring exchanges of endearment with a female counterpart, it's clear that Worth is on a single-minded track. A far cry from that character he played in Company who was juggling three girlfriends.
Perhaps the glimpse into a possible future by acting in that musical meant much more for Worth's life's direction than just a serendipitous discovery of his voice.
8 pm. Friday, Oct. 11
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr.