(CBS) – Rock legend David Bowie, who passed away last month and who was recognized at Monday’s Grammy Awards, stunned Chicago audiences more than 30 years ago.
In 1980, Bowie headlined a production of “The Elephant Man” at the city’s intimate Blackstone Theatre.
Bowie, who had a background in mime, twisted his body and changed his voice to depict Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed outcast in England in the late-1800s.
Bowie told reporter Bob Sirott then that music prepared him for the role.
“I think trying to portray emotion thru a song is often as difficult, if not more difficult, than doing it with mime,” Bowie said.
DePaul University theater professor Lisa Portes says Bowie’s stage turn was “an extraordinary performance on so many levels.”
It had a big impact on the 10-year-old nephew of WBBM Newsradio’s Kris Kridel and her late husband, reporter Paul Hogan. They saw “The Elephant Man” together.
Patrick Hogan, now 45, is a sound supervisor in Hollywood.