Performing Arts

Dead Rockstar Sing-A-Long Club Debuts at Rec Room This August

The original performance piece pays tribute to David Bowie, Prince and mourning public figures.

By Liz Hardaway July 28, 2016

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Image: Rec Room

With the death of music icons David Bowie and Prince this year, Rec Room is honoring these legends with part-concert/part-theater performances this fall. Using a medley of Bowie and Prince lyrics, as well as modern tweets mixed with excerpts from Greek tragedies, the production weaves an enchanting tale of love and loss, while exploring the dynamics of personal grief verses grief expressed on social media.

Dead Rockstar Sing-A-Long Club is the debut production of Rec Room, the first and only recreational performance space and social club in downtown Houston, founded by theater artists Matt Hune and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. The performance features Gerardo Velasquez, Nathan Richardson, Orlanders Jones, Mara McGhee and Dano Colon. 

The idea was sparked after reading an article about the incredibly public way that ancient Greeks mourned compared to how Americans traditionally mourn privately except when it's the death of a public figure and in the advent of social media.

“Facebook and Twitter are now allowing us to grieve for people we never really knew in-person,” said Hune. Wachs agrees and adds, “Every celebrity that passes away becomes a new trending topic online." 

After losing her brother, Harris Wittels, the beloved writer and producer of Parks & Recreation, Wachs mourned her loss alongside thousands of people, as he became a trending topic on Twitter. “Then Leonard Nimoy [from Star Trek] died two weeks later, and social media moved on from my brother, but I was still mourning,”  Wachs said. 

This is what sparked their idea about public grieving into a performance. The show, premiering August 18 and running through September, will weave together visual images that tackle the dynamics of public grief on social media verses actual grief, with Prince and Bowie lyrics along with Greek tragedy excerpts and modern-day tweets. Don't miss this magical and insightful performance.

Dead Rockstar Sing-A-Long Club. August 18-September 10, 8 pm. $25. Rec Room, 100 Jackson St. 713-344-1291.

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