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The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons"

Members say: Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Clever, Enchanting
86
Critics
87
3 reviews
Members
83
4 reviews
 

The Wooster Group presents this new piece based on performer Eric Berryman’s interest in the LP, 'Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,' recorded in 1964 by folklorist Bruce Jackson.

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The LP features work songs, blues, spirituals, preaching, and toasts performed by a group of inmates in Texas’ then-segregated agricultural prison farms. Mr. Berryman plays the album and transmits the material live, by channeling, via an in-ear receiver, the voices of the men on the record. 

 

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Reviews (7)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

90
The New York Times

"Music seldom sounds more exciting than when you’re introduced to it through the ears of a passionate fan...That’s the experience, heightened to the point of transcendence, that’s on offer in the Wooster Group’s extraordinary ‘The B-Side’...Ms. Valk and a design team have brought a rigorous elegance and clarity...This is music that feels viral not in the technological sense of current usage, but in the sense of residing in the bloodstream." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"As efficient as the swing of an axe, 'The B-Side' is many things at once: a concert, a tribute to the vanished dead, a vivid evocation of the past...It seems that this kind of performative memorialization is the great gift of the Wooster Group...Although the Woosters’ tech-forward avant-gardism has sometimes seemed aggressive, it is revealing itself, in this rough world, as consistently, heartbreakingly gentle." Full Review

95
The Washington Post

“A ravishing new show...A richly resonant auditory experience. That impression is amplified by Berryman, Moore, and McGruder harmonizing with the recording in masterly fashion...The experience is history in melody, an a cappella song cycle that reveals how men sentenced to hard labor endured, forging bonds through music...This is an hour of listening for any audience anywhere that wants its spirits lifted even as its conscience is stirred.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
83
Avg Score

72
Disappointing, Slow

See it if you have a vested interest in the work of The Wooster Group

Don't see it if you're not okay with visual stagnancy

Also I love Liz and Kate's work. The Wooster Group is one of the most fasci... Read more Read less

90
Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Intense, Must see

See it if You are willing to actively engage with performance

Don't see it if Avant-garde theatre doesn't agree with you

Also What a goddamn finale

80
Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if you're willing to be patient, the technique of an actor interests you, you like shows that are more theatre than plays.

Don't see it if you don't like experimental theatre or a show with a character driven plot.

95
Exquisite, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to see an era of black American life recreated in front of your eyes, with no artifice or phoniness.

Don't see it if you need an evening of literalism or a living room play.