Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

I Just Stopped By to See the Man 

An intellectual turn-on about music, talent, and the devil's hand in both

Wednesday, Apr 5 2006
Rock 'n' roll comes from the blues, which has commonly been called "the devil's music," and according to playwright Stephen Jeffreys — who penned the movie The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp — it actually is. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's new version of Jeffreys' show explores the mythology surrounding the mysterious crossroads at which certain musicians get their talent in an exchange with the Prince of Darkness himself. (Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and Robert Johnson all reference this place in their lyrics.) Onstage the soulful Charles Branklyn portrays Jesse Davidson, a beat-down, in-hiding blues legend who hasn't picked up his guitar in 14 years, letting the world presume he's dead. Peter Sroka is Karl, the excessive, Jaggerlike rock star who's made millions covering Davidson's songs. When these two meet down in the Mississippi Delta in a shotgun shack — a marvelous creation by set designer Lisa Clark — they find themselves at the crossroads. What ensues is a thrilling if bloated debate about real blues, rock stardom, and the price a musician pays for his gift. Despite the leisurely pace and a somewhat superfluous side plot involving Davidson's daughter (Natasha Noel), director Stanley E. Williams' production is an intellectual turn-on that rivals any night rocking out at the Fillmore.

About The Author

Nathaniel Eaton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"