Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain. Their names are firmly cemented in Rock n’ Roll history, forever associated with musical genius, loyal fans and lasting legacies. But these names are also associated with tragedy, the unfortunate loss of their lives, all at the age of just 27 years old.
The 27 Club draws you into the worlds of these six legends, and makes you never want to leave.
Created and directed by Carolyn Agan, The 27 Club is part musical, part cabaret; a lively biographical sketch of the musicians who became members of the notorious club. Between the artists’ powerhouse hits are small pieces of exposition, utilizing re-stagings of turning points in the artists’ journeys, excerpts from letters, and recalled conversations. These moments in time weave together the songs and experiences of these disparate – yet deeply connected – lives.
The audience looks on as these artists move from celebrating life and art through music, to the releasing their sorrow and pain, and ultimately, enduring their demise.
There isn’t a weak link in the tight chain of musical prowess. The band -Jamie Ibacache, Jason Wilson, Manny Arciniega playing along side musical director Jake Null on keyboards – puts out an energey that’s infectious and tightly coiled around the actors (Kurt Boehm, Ian Anthony Coleman, Tina Ghandchilar, Jade Jones, Alex Piper, Paige Taylor) who trade characters, songs and scenes while hardly missing a beat.
The 27 Club
by Carolyn Agan
645 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
<a href=”https://www.capitalfringe.org/festival-2014/shows/413-the-27-club” target=”_blank”>Details and tickets</a>
Though difficult to discern a standout among the talented cast, Jade Jones’ “Piece of My Heart” sets the small and intimate space ablaze, while Ian Anthony Coleman’s rendition of “Lithium” is as strong as it is disquieting. The ensemble leads the charge with an inspired mashup of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Sympathy for the Devil,” and all work together to bring the piece to its \moving conclusion with “Mercedes Benz” and John Craige’s “28.” Knowing when to raise the stakes or pump the brakes, Agan and Null have created a rhythmically conscious and invigorating musical experience.
The 27 Club ultimately poses questions of what it means to be an artist, and asks what made these artists fall from grace. Was what made them great also what destroyed them? When not asking these questions, the show is busy jolting the audience to life. If anyone at Fringe Fest is having more fun than The 27 Club, it can’t be legal. Check out the much loved and greatly missed bunch of legends for your own brush with sex, drugs, and sweet, sweet rock n’ roll.