Theater review: I Just Stopped By to See the Man, Steppenwolf Theatre, until January 19, 2003
It's a play, not music, but it's about music. It's 1975, and a huge British
rock star tracks down the reclusive legendary blues man he reveres. The old
black man lives in the rural Mississippi Delta with his politicized daughter.
Everyone has a secret. It revisits an era that Cameron Crowe illuminated in
Almost Famous. Most impressively, the characters shows great insight
into the transformative power of music, and the symbolism of the dramatic
climax is subtle but effective.
But I had one minor gripe. The rock star tells the blues man that kids pay
$20 a ticket for their stadium shows. Concert tickets weren't that expensive
in 1975. It was controversial for Bruce Springsteen to charge $16 in 1984,
so clearly no one was charging $20 in 1975. The play was written recently;
playwright Stephen Jeffreys should have done more research.