From the Author:
This play emerged from the collision of two discrete ideas, both of which have long been interesting to me. First, of course, is the 27 club itself—the informal grouping of musicians, writers, and artists who died at age 27. I’d heard an interview with Jim Morrison, one of its most famous members, given just before he died wherein he was asked what he thought about the recent deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. His theory was that there had been a tremendous explosion of energy when these performers came on the scene, and that they hadn’t been able to survive its inevitable denouement. Cut to 24 years later: by the time Kurt Cobain killed himself, the 27 club was already a named phenomenon. A local paper even quoted his mother as saying, “I told him not to join that stupid club.” What had initially been (as Alice puts it in the play) “a bizarre cultural phenomenon” now carried with it the possibility of intent and postmodern appropriation.
The other idea involved families with more than one famous, or at least public, member. The possibility that a child might outshine his parent in a similar field seems powerful enough—but I wondered how much more volatile the dynamic would be if the child made a quick grab for breezy pop fame instead of the painstaking immortality of elite culture favored by the parent. Given the state of our own shifting cultural literacy, I can’t help but think those family situations would make for some exceedingly passive-aggressive Thanksgiving dinners. That being the case, I wasn’t interested in writing simply about bitter fathers and spoiled sons. I felt there needed to be a strong undercurrent of love, affection, and respect underscoring Howard and Martin’s relationship, and eventually that manifested in Alice.
I hope you enjoy The 27 Club.