The Brick: A One Man Musical

solo performance · bill berry · Ages 13+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by NICHOLAS DOBKIN

June 22, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: comedy · musical · solo · emotional · brick · mother

What I liked

Musical numbers which each have unique melodies and tell their own stories with bite, laughs, and heart most of all. The ending lines delivered with sincerity wrap the entire affair up beautifully, and you don’t at all feel like having a single actor and a minimalistic set was a constraining factor on the play’s ability to tell its story. Concept is easy to describe to others and sticks with you.

What I didn't like

Some of the dialogue felt a little forced, as the main actor had to lead into some musical numbers or speak ‘for’ the mother, who was of course, not there. There was exactly one portion of a song about piano which felt like it would’ve benefitted from a piano track. The overall arc of the story is not unpredictable, though it must be said that even though you could see what was coming, this did not diminish its emotional depth – a real testament to the acting and direction on display. Title isn’t really that relevant to the play as a whole.

My overall impression

A surprisingly catchy musical which knows how to interweave tragedy and comedy in an arc that pulls at the heartstrings and never once makes you feel as if this one-man is insufficient to create an entire world through his show. One would not know it to be director Kelly DeSarla’s directoral debut if it hadn’t been so listed – the piece flows nicely and is structured so that it isn’t held back by its minimalist setpieces. Truly feels like a great showcase for the talents behind it, and one is left yearning for more works from the team in the future.

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