search button
newscenter logo
Saturday, December 2, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Cast members of SDSU’s “Ziggy, Stardust, and Me,” running Sept. 30 - Oct. 8 on the Prebys Stage. Cast members of SDSU’s “Ziggy, Stardust, and Me,” running Sept. 30 - Oct. 8 on the Prebys Stage.

Ziggy, Stardust, and Me Opens New Prebys Stage

Based on the bestselling novel by James Brandon, with a Bowie-inspired cosmic rock score, Ziggy, Stardust and Me is a far-out coming-of-age love story
By Josh Frojelin

San Diego State University is set to produce “Ziggy, Stardust, and Me,” the first show of the 2023-24 theater season. The original musical will also be the first performance in SDSU’s new Prebys Stage. It was written by James Martinez Salem and Jessie Field, is adapted from the novel of the same name by James Brandon, and is directed by Dani Bedau.


Ziggy, Stardust, and Me” features a Bowie-inspired cosmic rock score. According to Danny Holmes, a junior musical theater major cast as Jonathan, one of the show’s lead roles, audiences will follow “three main best friends, Harry Potter-style.”


The story follows 16-year-old Web, who isn’t expecting to find anything good at his new school after fleeing his past on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Certainly, he’s not expecting to connect with Jonathan, the spacey Ziggy Stardust-obsessed teen he gets paired with for a school project. As the two grow closer, Web grapples with his anger at an unjust world, and Jonathan struggles with his own demons, believing that his sexuality needs to be “fixed” with conversion therapy. Together, both boys must try to end the wars inside themselves and find a way forward through love in the tumultuous world that surrounds them.


Throughout rehearsals, Holmes has found particular joy in "building chemistry with my fellow actors, my two friends who portray Jonathan's comrades in the play. Scenes where we're all together in that safe, communal space are my favorites. I can't wait to continue working with them," he said.


Holmes also feels that producing this show today is essential. “There's a lot of really progressive, heavy topics that are very relevant today,” Holmes said. “This is set in 1973 Missouri, but we’re seeing similar things here in San Diego in 2023. It will always be a relevant show, no matter when it's produced.”


Director and producer Bedau shared a similar sentiment: “School districts across the country are banning books and plays with queer content and attempting to dictate which version of ‘history’ is taught in classrooms. Making art like “Ziggy, Stardust & Me” is vital, now more than ever.”


However, the show is not solely a social commentary. “It’s also funky and fun,” said Holmes. “There's some very dramatic elements, but it's teenagers being teenagers and falling in love.”


Ziggy, Stardust, and Me” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 on the Prebys Stage in SDSU’s Performing Arts District. Six additional performances are scheduled, ending Sunday, Oct. 8. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $17 for students, and available through the online box office at the School of Theatre, Television, and Film.