Rose Petals and Ashes

Written and performed by Bill Berry

Directed by Kelly DeSarla

What would you do with the power to erase the memory of someone’s existence? What if it was your mother and she had a chance to talk you out of it? Bill goes to the beach to end it once and for all with his overbearing alcoholic mother. There’s just one problem. She’s already dead.  Rose Petals and Ashes is a musical tragi-comedy about second chances and a story of hope and redemption,  a reminder that death doesn’t have to be the end of our relationships with loved ones. In his award-winning play, Bill Berry incorporates songs into a narrative about how emotional wounds from tragic events can cause ripple effects for generations. A moving and funny story for survivors, their families, and those in recovery.

Rose Petals And Ashes, formerly titled The Brick, features original songs including The Day We Stole Steve Martin, Cockfight In Tickfaw and the Grammy contender, The Piano Tuner With The Lazy Eye. It’s comical, sad, heartfelt, and all true. The show won the Encore Producer’s Award and the Tvolution’s Platinum Award for theatre at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival as well as the Special Merit Award at the NMI 2019 Search for New Musicals. Bill has performed the show in theatres in the US and Canada since 2017 and has presented the show with talk-back sessions at recovery centers throughout Southern California since 2018.  Rose Petals And Ashes is available in a 55 or 85 minute version with no intermission.

It’s been a wonderful ride so far and I hope you will be able to join me in an upcoming performance sometime soon.

Listen to the interview on WWNO New Orleans with Dianne Mack for Infringe Fest 2018

See a performance clip

Reviews and responses have been great! Here are some now!

The songs, some personal, some allegorical, all come together to paint a picture of a man coming to terms with his life. I don’t want to give away too much content here, but by the end of the show Bill manages to make the audience part of his family, spoon feeding us in music and lyric the stuff that makes a man what he is. Folkworks Magazine

A tremendously moving show, disguised as an evening of comic songs. the burdens of childhood, how one moves forward with an emotionally absent parent, the struggle to assemble the broken pieces through art; all this plus the sensibility of the great music/comics: Stan Freberg, Dave Frishberg, and Tom Lehrer. The transparent, soul-baring book mixed in with the elegantly-crafted and laugh-out-loud music create an evening that provides everything you’d want in an evening of theater, pared down to its essence. Immediate and long-lasting Standing Ovation the night I went. Impossible to recommend this strongly enough. Better Lemons

As an actor, Berry is naturally open and vulnerable. As a musician, he flies. At this performance, the audience was so acutely tuned to his energy I don’t even think they realized they were singing softly along with him on “Two Crows,” a haunting song about the wisdom of age. That kind of organic connection is something that cannot be manufactured and I found it to be incredibly powerful. It helps that he knows how to write a song with a hook that stays with you even after you’ve left the theater. Broadway World

The metamorphosis that takes place on this cathartic musical journey is a rich one and it is beautifully directed by Kelly DeSarla. What could become a dark descent into hell instead shimmers with a light touch making the show’s poignant message all the more powerful in its subtlety. Berry never overplays his hand but holds firm in the truthfulness of his narrative. Feet firmly planted in the sand like a kid, armed with six strings and his soul, he is an inherently likable human being and one helluva writer. Bonus – the guy knows how to tell a good joke. Musicals in LA

Berry comes across as one of the rarest forms of performers in these times of ours – the balladeer.  Whether singing of a youthful escapade to steal a store display of Steve Martin or of finding himself as a teenager infected with a bad case of the crabs, the songs he sings are melodic morality lessons. Not to be missed – a PLATINUM MEDAL. The TVolution.com

Bill Berry is a delight on the guitar. His songs are a mix of campy fun and folksy tunes; a troubadour for the blue-collar worker.
Rose Petals and Ashes is ultimately a story of hope and redemption, about how death doesn’t have to be the end of our memory of a family member or loved one. For that, I commend its beauty. – Edmonton Journal