The Brick: A One Man Musical

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 10

Comic/songwriter Bill Berry takes a look at the concept of three deaths: First when your body ceases to function. Second when your body is put in its grave. And third, that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time. This may be the last time. Featuring Bill Berry's critically acclaimed story-songs. Directed by Kelly De Sarla.

Reviews

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This is a one man show with story and songs. It's personal and touching. It's also humorous at times. By the end of the 55 minutes I had the feeling that I was really allowed a window into the soul of a man that I felt was worthy of knowing and caring about. I went on a journey with Bill and was rewarded in spades.

sweet - Laura Gold


Avatar

He takes us through an hysterically funny escapade with two of his boyhood chums (both were in the audience smiling on opening night), issues with his departed mom, and a journey through the years, loves events, and milestones that have made him who he is. The songs, some personal, some allegorical, all come together to paint a picture of a man coming to terms with his life. I don't want to give away too much content here, but by the end of the show Bill manages to make the audience part of his family, spoon feeding us in music and lyric the stuff that makes a man what he is....Bill ain't your ordinary entertainment.

sweet - Art Podell - ...read full review


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This alone would make for a strong show, but it is Berry's “clang-clang” that rises the evening to an exceptional experience. ...Not to be missed – a PLATINUM MEDAL.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - ...read full review


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Finding a balance in the theater between depth and humor is always a struggle. Edge too much depth and a play can get oppressive. Too much humor and it can get superficial. Bill Berry has found what might be the best balance of these two elements I've seen on stage. An hour-long solo show delving deep into issues like the burdens of childhood, how one moves forward with an emotionally absent parent, the struggle to assemble the broken pieces through art, and the things we do to cope with trauma, the play delivers a powerful punch. You can't walk away from the play without being moved at Berry's struggles or being awestruck at his capacity to turn music and theater into a life raft. But as transparent and raw as the text is, the play is relentlessly funny. Gut-bustingly funny. It's the songs, really, that knock you out at the end. An upbeat, hummable tune about getting the crabs? Check. A song about spending the night in jail by singing prison songs to the arresting officers? Check. The lyrics have the grace of Cole Porter and the sensibility of Mel Brooks. It's easy to compare Berry with the great comic songwriters like Stan Freberg, Dave Frishberg, or Tom Lehrer, but none of them was all that comfortable turning to their personal travails for material. Berry is, and has created an intimate evening that provides everything you'd want from theater, pared down to its essence. There was an immediate and long-lasting Standing Ovation the night I went. Well-deserved.

sweet - Peter Lefevre


Avatar

In the stage performance of “The Brick,” Bill Berry brings a lot more than top notch songwriting to the table. I was unprepared for the depth of the story that unfolded. And, I have to admit, it hit a little close to home. Family relationships can be extremely difficult to explain, and yet, Bill manages to get to the heart of the matter in a style that somehow mixes humor, resentment, harsh truths, internal struggle, forgiveness and love. Perhaps the highest praise I can state about “The Brick” is that the totality of the presentation is much greater than the sum of its parts. Onstage, Bill is charismatic, talented, vulnerable, and ultimately… brave. Go see this show. Enjoy the roller coaster ride of emotions you'll experience. Art at this level is a joy to witness and a great reminder of what really matters in life.

sweet - Todd Lincoln Richards


Avatar

Bill Berry is a masterful songwriter and storyteller. “The Brick” takes his songs and stories to a whole new level. Uproariously funny and deeply moving, “The Brick” is a must-see. Don't miss it!

sweet - Andrea Ross-Greene


Avatar

My overall impression is that this show is a moving and humorous song cycle. Bill Berry dramatizes his relationship with his difficult mother, and I was thoroughly drawn into the story. And he moves into his songs very naturally. The songs are delightful, clever, funny and/or moving, and I cared very much as the show progressed, and by the end I was in tears. My only complaint is that I wish the seats reclined like at the AMC Theaters.

sweet - Jeff Tinkelman


Avatar

The Brick is an unexpected story of forgiveness, understanding and acceptance. I've known Bill for many years and I have heard many of these songs. To hear them and his newer songs in the context of this play was an entirely different, revelatory experience. Each one offered a clever story or snippet from Bill's life. But when these pieces all fit together, they create more complete and complex picture of Bill's life. These aren't strung together to make up a story; these songs tell the story. We understand why Bill wrote them in the first place. The premise of the show, a final farewell, is serious, but the play is alternately funny, clever and very moving. Bill does a great job performing the songs (of course), but also effortlessly carries the show. Kelly De Sarla, the director, has shaped a very tight performance. An excellent show that should be seen by everyone. I hope Bill either gets an extended run or finds a new home for the play.

sweet - Jim Dean


Avatar

Bill Berry is Phenomenal! What I thought was wasn't as I was pleasantly surprised by Bill's very funny and very human story framed by his original tunes. The Brick is a “must-see”! Just Brilliant! All that was missing was "sand"

sweet - Michael Frondelli


Avatar

The songwriting was exceptional and how Bill Berry got to each song through personal storytelling was compelling. I was involved from the moment it started. It was the whole spectrum—from wildly funny to deeply moving. I was a wreck by the end and I mean that in the best possible way. Kelly DeSarla's direction was also superb..The story was involving from the start, punctuated beautifully by phenomenal songs. I loved every minute.

sweet - Harriet Schock


Avatar

Such a rewarding way to spend an hour! My wife said she felt immediately “energized and uplifted” by hearing Bill share his truth. Passionate, funny, sometimes sad, but always entertaining. Bill's songs are at times hilarious and at times touching, very well-crafted and performed. I've enjoyed seeing him perform before, but by giving his songs a theatrical setting, he has reached a new level. Great music, great performances.

sweet - Kevin Kelso


Avatar

WHAT I LIKED - I'm so glad that I had not read the reviews prior to attending. Spoilers in the reviews would not have let the story unfold for me. I was completely unprepared – and therefore blown away – by the story arc and how Bill's songs were woven into it perfectly. ABBA, eat your heart out. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE - The sweat! Take a towel on stage – a small one – to help with the sweat in a black box theatre. Or, wear a sweatband? I realize that the pressure of performing, and the lights, and the closeness of a small theatre can be stifling, but no need for you to suffer through sweating. Actually, make it part of the show. It would totally fit the character. Even feeling for you as you dripped sweat, I never once wavered in my attention for the story you were unfolding. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION - LEMONADE! Bill went someplace very unexpected with this show – and he nailed it! His particular talent for crafting top-notch storytelling songs dovetailed with the spoken narrative. Not once did my mind wander. I heard singalongs, too – and at one point the audience broke out into spontaneous (and appropriate) clapping on 2 & 4. Lemonade - pour me another, please, over ice!

sweet - Peggy Glenn


Avatar

He takes us through an hysterically funny escapade with two of his boyhood chums (both were in the audience smiling on opening night), issues with his departed mom, and a journey through the years, loves events, and milestones that have made him who he is. The songs, some personal, some allegorical, all come together to paint a picture of a man coming to terms with his life. I don't want to give away too much content here, but by the end of the show Bill manages to make the audience part of his family, spoon feeding us in music and lyric the stuff that makes a man what he is....Bill ain't your ordinary entertainment.

sweet - Art Podell - ...read full review


Avatar

This alone would make for a strong show, but it is Berry's “clang-clang” that rises the evening to an exceptional experience. ...Not to be missed – a PLATINUM MEDAL.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - ...read full review


Avatar

This is a one man show with story and songs. It's personal and touching. It's also humorous at times. By the end of the 55 minutes I had the feeling that I was really allowed a window into the soul of a man that I felt was worthy of knowing and caring about. I went on a journey with Bill and was rewarded in spades.

sweet - Laura Gold


Avatar

Finding a balance in the theater between depth and humor is always a struggle. Edge too much depth and a play can get oppressive. Too much humor and it can get superficial. Bill Berry has found what might be the best balance of these two elements I've seen on stage. An hour-long solo show delving deep into issues like the burdens of childhood, how one moves forward with an emotionally absent parent, the struggle to assemble the broken pieces through art, and the things we do to cope with trauma, the play delivers a powerful punch. You can't walk away from the play without being moved at Berry's struggles or being awestruck at his capacity to turn music and theater into a life raft. But as transparent and raw as the text is, the play is relentlessly funny. Gut-bustingly funny. It's the songs, really, that knock you out at the end. An upbeat, hummable tune about getting the crabs? Check. A song about spending the night in jail by singing prison songs to the arresting officers? Check. The lyrics have the grace of Cole Porter and the sensibility of Mel Brooks. It's easy to compare Berry with the great comic songwriters like Stan Freberg, Dave Frishberg, or Tom Lehrer, but none of them was all that comfortable turning to their personal travails for material. Berry is, and has created an intimate evening that provides everything you'd want from theater, pared down to its essence. There was an immediate and long-lasting Standing Ovation the night I went. Well-deserved.

sweet - Peter Lefevre


Avatar

In the stage performance of “The Brick,” Bill Berry brings a lot more than top notch songwriting to the table. I was unprepared for the depth of the story that unfolded. And, I have to admit, it hit a little close to home. Family relationships can be extremely difficult to explain, and yet, Bill manages to get to the heart of the matter in a style that somehow mixes humor, resentment, harsh truths, internal struggle, forgiveness and love. Perhaps the highest praise I can state about “The Brick” is that the totality of the presentation is much greater than the sum of its parts. Onstage, Bill is charismatic, talented, vulnerable, and ultimately… brave. Go see this show. Enjoy the roller coaster ride of emotions you'll experience. Art at this level is a joy to witness and a great reminder of what really matters in life.

sweet - Todd Lincoln Richards


Avatar

Bill Berry is a masterful songwriter and storyteller. “The Brick” takes his songs and stories to a whole new level. Uproariously funny and deeply moving, “The Brick” is a must-see. Don't miss it!

sweet - Andrea Ross-Greene


Avatar

My overall impression is that this show is a moving and humorous song cycle. Bill Berry dramatizes his relationship with his difficult mother, and I was thoroughly drawn into the story. And he moves into his songs very naturally. The songs are delightful, clever, funny and/or moving, and I cared very much as the show progressed, and by the end I was in tears. My only complaint is that I wish the seats reclined like at the AMC Theaters.

sweet - Jeff Tinkelman


Avatar

The Brick is an unexpected story of forgiveness, understanding and acceptance. I've known Bill for many years and I have heard many of these songs. To hear them and his newer songs in the context of this play was an entirely different, revelatory experience. Each one offered a clever story or snippet from Bill's life. But when these pieces all fit together, they create more complete and complex picture of Bill's life. These aren't strung together to make up a story; these songs tell the story. We understand why Bill wrote them in the first place. The premise of the show, a final farewell, is serious, but the play is alternately funny, clever and very moving. Bill does a great job performing the songs (of course), but also effortlessly carries the show. Kelly De Sarla, the director, has shaped a very tight performance. An excellent show that should be seen by everyone. I hope Bill either gets an extended run or finds a new home for the play.

sweet - Jim Dean


Avatar

Bill Berry is Phenomenal! What I thought was wasn't as I was pleasantly surprised by Bill's very funny and very human story framed by his original tunes. The Brick is a “must-see”! Just Brilliant! All that was missing was "sand"

sweet - Michael Frondelli


Avatar

The songwriting was exceptional and how Bill Berry got to each song through personal storytelling was compelling. I was involved from the moment it started. It was the whole spectrum—from wildly funny to deeply moving. I was a wreck by the end and I mean that in the best possible way. Kelly DeSarla's direction was also superb..The story was involving from the start, punctuated beautifully by phenomenal songs. I loved every minute.

sweet - Harriet Schock


Avatar

Such a rewarding way to spend an hour! My wife said she felt immediately “energized and uplifted” by hearing Bill share his truth. Passionate, funny, sometimes sad, but always entertaining. Bill's songs are at times hilarious and at times touching, very well-crafted and performed. I've enjoyed seeing him perform before, but by giving his songs a theatrical setting, he has reached a new level. Great music, great performances.

sweet - Kevin Kelso


Avatar

WHAT I LIKED - I'm so glad that I had not read the reviews prior to attending. Spoilers in the reviews would not have let the story unfold for me. I was completely unprepared – and therefore blown away – by the story arc and how Bill's songs were woven into it perfectly. ABBA, eat your heart out. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE - The sweat! Take a towel on stage – a small one – to help with the sweat in a black box theatre. Or, wear a sweatband? I realize that the pressure of performing, and the lights, and the closeness of a small theatre can be stifling, but no need for you to suffer through sweating. Actually, make it part of the show. It would totally fit the character. Even feeling for you as you dripped sweat, I never once wavered in my attention for the story you were unfolding. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION - LEMONADE! Bill went someplace very unexpected with this show – and he nailed it! His particular talent for crafting top-notch storytelling songs dovetailed with the spoken narrative. Not once did my mind wander. I heard singalongs, too – and at one point the audience broke out into spontaneous (and appropriate) clapping on 2 & 4. Lemonade - pour me another, please, over ice!

sweet - Peggy Glenn