When Danny Hoch, author/performer of the Off-Broadway hit, Some People, tried out his latest show at Off-Off's PS 122, Mar. 31-April 21, 1997, the hope was that he'd hone the work on the road and bring it back to New York.
Well, that's just what happened. First titled, A Progress In Work: Evolution of a Homeboy / Locked Down; then titled Evolution of a Homeboy: Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop and now simply titled Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop, the show has played venues such as Berkeley Rep and Baltimore's Center Stage.
The show returned to Off-Off-Broadway's Performance Space 122, opening Mar. 30 for a run through Apr. 18. Jails had to take a break due to another show coming to the space, but Hoch will return May 6 and continue Jails through June 27.
Hoch's rapping description of the show: "Ya see, I ain't ya average twenty somethin grunge type of slacker. I'm not your herb flavor-of-the-month, I ain't no cracker. An actor? Come on now, you know you wanna ask me...I'll use my skin privileges to flag you down a taxi..."
Jails was developed when Hoch and NYU's Creative Arts Team visited adolescents in detention center for conflict-resolution-through drama" workshops. Jo Bonney (wife of solo performer Eric Bogosian), who staged Some People and serves as P.S. 122's associate artistic director, directs Jails. Hoch won an Obie Award in 1994 for Some People at PS 122, which was subsequently performed at the Public Theater. Some People toured nationally and internationally , winning a First Fringe Award at the Edinburgh International Fringe Theatre Festival. The show was taped for cable's HBO and was nominated for a 1996 Cable Ace Award.
According to spokesperson Ron Lasko (Feb. 5), also due for P.S. 122 are:
May 7-10: Elevator Repair Service in Total Fictional Lie
May 13: Gala Benefit Performance -- Hall of Fame
May 14-17: Elevator Repair Service revives Cab Legs.
May 20-?: Carmelita Tropicana's Chicas 2000, which was workshopped at Dixon place.
June 4-21: Circus Amok, "the performance art circus of gender-bending stilt-walkers, fire-breathers, clowns, acrobats, divas and assorted freaks, will tour New York City Parks."
A new piece by Joanne Akalaitis, Tijean Blues: A Work in Progress, based on the life and writings of Jack Kerouac, was supposed to happen in mid-April but was cancelled in mid-January.
P.S. 122, on First Ave and 9th St., will also continue its "Spaghetti Dinner" series, featuring music, satire and fresh cooked pasta.
For more information on P.S. 122 events at 150 First Ave., call (212) 477-5288.