THE WAKE OF DICK JOHNSON Comes To The East Village
If you're craving something disturbing this Halloween season (because who isn't?), The Wake of Dick Johnson might just be it.
Housed in the 122 Community Center, a former public school turned into a small East Village Theatre, this off-broadway show is gory, freaky, and downright alarming. Enter the small room modeled after a real wake, where Dick Johnson (writer and director Luke Walker) lies in an open casket as candles flicker around him, dead flowers are scattered on the floor, and a red neon cross is nailed above him.
There's chilling music too, which is performed by the talented musical duo, Okapi (Lindsey Miller and Scott Gorski) consisting of only a double bass, cello, and the eerie voice of Gorski himself. Throughout the play, the two perform with both a creepy rawness changing the tempo as quick as Dick's moods.
The room is small so it's intimate, making for an intense experience. You watch as Dick begins to rise from the dead, stumbling out of his casket, and sitting on a chair with a bottle of hooch in hand. He reminiscences about his life chock full of sex, drugs, and booze as he stares out in the audience with his all-white eyes. He's angry and cocky so he's pretty unlikeable right from the start. But through his rage we learn more about his real, deep-rooted pain, and the traumatizing relationship he had with one family member, making him more relatable in the most chilling way.
The show is graphic in every sense of the word, from its profane language to its grotesque imagery. And there's a good chance you'll never look at Snow White the same way again. But within all the ghastly, there is a message: the pain we suffered through in life remains even in death. So, live life your way, as Dick said. Because death isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The Wake of Dick Johnson runs now through October 31st at 122 Community Center.