Danny Hoch, author-performer of the Off-Broadway hit, Some People, tried out his current show at Off-Off's P.S. 122 back in March 1997. After a successful launch, the show went on to play such venues as CA's Berkeley Rep (twice), Yale Rep and Baltimore's Center Stage, yet, occasionally, Hoch would bring Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop back to its homebase, P.S. 122.
Well, Hip-Hop is returning again to that Off-Off-Broadway venue, May 25-June 5, with the promise that this will be the "last chance to see it live in New York."
Jails was developed when Hoch and NYU's Creative Arts Team visited adolescents in detention center for "conflict-resolution-through drama" workshops. Characters in Hoch's solo show range from a philosophizing, heroin-addicted prison inmate with AIDS to a pimple faced white teenager from Montana to a promiscuous rap star to a Puerto Rican office worker taken aback by her boyfriend's desire to wear a condom. The show was developed and directed by Jo Bonney (Stop Kiss).
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..."
Hoch, a native of Queens, won an OBIE award for Some People, which toured 35 cities in the US, visited three foreign countries, and became an HBO special. Jails w1s nominated for a Drama Desk Award and will be made into a feature film and spoken word CD. Nov. 11, 1998 Villard Books released a compilation volume of Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop. The book, "Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop and Some People" sells for $12.95 as a paperback published by Villard Books, a division of Random House.
For tickets ($25) and information on Jails at P.S. 122 call (212) 477-5288.
-- By David Lefkowitz