Thursday, January 21, 2010

Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil



















Playbill for Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil by Bill Harris. Not sure when the play first came out, but a review for it by Mel Gussow in The New York Times is dated February 25, 1993.  For the Detroit version above: Starring Robert Jones, local blues artist and host of WDET's Blues From the Lowlands as Robert Johnson.  Directed by Edward G. Smith of Wayne State University's Black Theatre Program. Hillberry Theatre.













Ever wonder how much you'd give up for your heart's desire? A mystique has long existed around the short and brilliant career of blues legend Robert Johnson. What happened on the final night of Robert Johnson's life? Some say he sold his soul for the ability to play the guitar. He says different.

Bill Harris continues to write and is a professor at Wayne State University.  Ed Smith is currently Artistic Director at Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas, and also an instructor in the TCU Department of Theatre.

Today's Rune: Joy.

8 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

"Ever wonder how much you'd give up for your heart's desire?"

I recently had to figure that out, actually. I heard about a 4-day seminar being given by Canadian Master Artist Robert Bateman (running over my birthday, no less.) Although the seminar, itself, wasn't excessively pricey, it turned out that adding transportation, lodgings & food pushed the total to close to $2000. Mr. Bateman's getting up in years, so who knows how much longer the opportunity will exist, but $2000 also buys a lot of great experiences that include Charles, too.

the walking man said...

You have to admit the sold his soul to the devil legend has certainly left a slew of cultural cache behind.

Charles Gramlich said...

I sure wish we could find a way, Lana.

Erik Donald France said...

Lana and Charles, sounds like a very tough decision either way. On the other hand, maybe he'll make it a while longer? WM, absolutely true.

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pattinase (abbott) said...

Isn't this the oddest thing? Researching a story for my blog, I remembered seeing this when it played in Detroit perhaps a decade ago or more and went back to look for it and came up with all these familiar names.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Too weird to look at this blog. I come from Philadelphia with a cheesesteak on my knee. The world is getting to small, Charles, Mark, Lana and now Erik.

Erik Donald France said...

Patti,

Wow, that is some series of coincidences. Amazing, really. Thanks for stopping by . . .