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