The train ride to midtown, like Rock, I also do most of my writing on the NYC Subway system: This is one of my most anticipated shows ever! I remember when I bought my tickets many, many months ago, I thought October would never arrive! But here it is! I’m on my way to see this show. I’m super excited to see Rock Wilk on stage pouring his heart out for us all to share. After having attended a workshop with Rock, there is no doubt in my mind that everyone attending here tonight will be leaving the show floored! I’m actually nervous for him, and nervous with excitement about the show!
This will be the 3rd of my personal friends that I see in a proper show, the first being Lemon Andersen in “County of Kings” which the movie “Lemon” is based on, followed by Melech Meir aka Distinguish in “Children of Killers“, and now Mr Energy himself, Rock Wilk in Broke Wide Open! I’m so glad I followed my guts and got involved with this poetry thing on a performing level. Otherwise I would have never met all these amazing people!
Introduction: The theatre is a rather small intimate space, there are no bad seats here. The show’s director, Stephen Bishop Seely came out and thanked us for our support, donations, and overall support of the 500 names family. Behind him the stage is empty except for a large mural put together by Jason Sisino and Lee Alston depicting different people from Rock’s life, and there is a construction, scaffolding type item on stage as well. After the director is done, it’s silent and the entire venue goes dark. The show opens with Rock on top of this construction thingy with one his fist up, which has become Rock’s symbol and also happens to be the show’s official logo. He also moves the construction thingy around and climbs on top of it from time to time during the show.
Intermission: So far the show has been very touching and emotional. Rock has sang songs, done poetic pieces and story telling all in the very intense mode that is Rock Wilk. I thought this show was just about Rock Wilk’s journey as he searches for his biological mother, but so far it’s so much more. Throughout the show we are taken through several of Rock’s relationships, the story of his adoption, and through song, comedy, and dramatic story telling Rock pretty much bares his entire life and soul to us. His search for a home. I felt like I knew Rock a little, but after tonight I learned so much more about him, deep intimate stories and I feel even more connected to this amazing individual.
Let’s talk about the Gala: After the amazing show I followed the group to the “Actor’s Temple” for the after party gala. Let me say this, the venue definitely looks like a temple. There are words written in what I will presume is Hebrew, along with candles, the star of david, and other Jewish symbols. It felt more like a church than a theatre, but that’s cool, I don’t mind churches.
Dinner: Food for the gala was provided by Carmine’s, a well known NYC Italian restaurant. For those of you familiar with training terminology, I did some heavy carb loading tonight! Pasta being the item of choice! I ate some that contained beans and sausage, and some regular penne pasta. As a side item I grabbed some lettuce and bread. The food was pretty good and I will have to give Carmine’s a try for a sit down dinner some day soon. Details for Carmine’s below.
I met some new folks, ran into some of my old buddies and kicked it with Rock for a little while. Here is what he said: “I feel great ARod, 2 hours and I feel so good I can do it all over again right now!” Rock is a ball of energy, positive, powerful energy.
Summary of the show: Maybe I’m biased, because I love Rock Wilk. Maybe. Here’s the thing though, if I am biased because I love Rock Wilk, then by the end of the show, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU READING THIS POST WILL BE BIASED! Why? Because you will love Rock as much as we all do! This man holds nothing back when he performs, you get it all! You feel the emotion with every chapter, every story, every word, every prayer, every song, every drop of sweat, every single breath. You ever heard of a performer holding back? Well that’s the opposite of what Broke Wide Open is. Rock is pure emotion and you feel it throughout the entire show. He transitions between song and speaking in the blink of an eye. One moment he’s speaking calmly about a memory, leading into a soft song, then before you can exhale he is screaming out in raw pain and emotion while slamming the lone prop (scaffolding thingy) against the wall. Much to the audience’s surprise judging by their reaction. The show is very powerful and intense!
Train ride home after the theatre: On the way home after the show I feel satisfied, this show lived up to my expectations. Rock was all I expected and then some! One pleasant surprise was how good this man can sing! I think I’ll have to enlist Mr Wilk to provide some sweet vocals for my songs!
Where can I get tickets: Tickets for this show are under $40, as of now the show is set to run for about 6-8 weeks, but if things go well it may stick around longer. Pick up tickets and check out Broke Wide open, trust me you will love it! Tickets and show information are available at Rock’s site, brokewideopen.com.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.