This year’s Piccolo Spoleto fest will feature Jay White and Jim Algar’s multi-performance play Why is Rock and Roll?, a show that’s as much a musical experience as it is a theatrical production. “It’s a fun combination of a two-man play, rock concert, and TED talk,” says White.

He and Algar go from being onstage educators informing the audience of rock’s chronological history to slipping into the characters of rock musicians themselves, complete with costumes and (of course) wigs.

Not only is rock history played out visually (for example, White and Algar as Bob Dylan and John Lennon discuss music at the Delmonico Hotel), but the two performers use a cocktail drum kit, keyboard, and time-period guitars to cover legends like Chuck Berry and Jim Morrison.

White says, “One learns, in a fun fashion, about the songs you will hear and tales about not only famous performers but back-scene people as well, such as Sam Phillips of Sun Records and Leo Fender, inventor of the electric guitar.”

You can catch Why is Rock and Roll? at Pure Theatre (477 King Street) on Fri. May 27 at 8 p.m.

For tickets and more info, go to

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