Already closed | 1h 0m | Brooklyn

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

From 34 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great singing, Relevant, Absorbing

About the show

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. 

1h 0m | Already closed | St Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn)

Member Reviews (34)


Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great singing, Relevant, Absorbing

Disappointing, Uneventful, Lazy, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if u want to be moved and shook by the tragedy and resonance of the core material (prison recordings). Sad, maddening, painful, still relevant

Don't see it if u expect theater performance that should build on the core material. It was like karaoke, with minimal A/V embellishments. Dropped the ball.

Also I expected so much more. The recordings are so powerful. But the perfo... Read more Read less

Banal, Resonant, Excruciating, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You can sit for 1 hour to watch a great actor sing songs from prisioners in 1964 and fall asleep due to the excess of boredom.

Don't see it if You are looking for to watch a play with a plot.

Slow, Refreshing, Intelligent

See it if An auditory experience bringing an album of songs made by prisoners to life

Don't see it if Slow paced at times, not a lot of action just the album of music

Slow, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you want to hear someone do karaoke and show you pictures of his apartment.

Don't see it if you were expecting to hear any stories of the actual prisoners or their lives. These are really just songs with only minor explanation.

Slightly boring, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like to see amazing character work. Eric Berryman really embodies the people on the album.

Don't see it if you want more anecdotes along with the presentation.

Also I don't think The Wooster Group is for me.

Unique, singing an album

See it if Like a capella singing. Learning about Black history

Don't see it if You want action or plot development

March 4th, 2019
"The production as a whole falls short of its designation as an 'interpretation,' landing more accurately within the less exciting realm of 're-creation'...Berryman is joined by Jasper McGruder and Philip Moore, whose voices add presence and richness to the performance. But even that fullness of ...
read more
March 5th, 2019
"A haunting hour in the theatre...Berryman's voice seems to pierce the veil of the past, making the sorrows (and everyday horrors) of another time unsettlingly immediate; when he slips into character to introduce a number or perform a spoken piece, the transformation is instantaneous and complete...
read more
March 6th, 2019
“It’s an impressive, bravura piece of acting and singing on Berryman’s part, but there’s a pervading sense of something hollow looming over the show..For the final track...As he listens...His relationship with the record is clear, and it’s a chilling, effective moment. But it’s too brief. The pas...
read more
March 7th, 2019
"For all the similarities in rhythm, there is much underlying variety to these songs, and, beneath the simplicity, some striking nuance...Somehow, during this 21st century karaoke, as the three men on stage reproduced the singing...their live voices eerily took on the feel of an old record, a tes...
read more

Related content